In a special event, SEKEM celebrates its organic cotton harvest with its new contracted farmers in Damietta Governorate, located 200 kilometers north from Cairo. In Kafr Saad, a small village of Damietta, 20 contracted farmers recently joined SEKEMs cotton supply chain and presented their shining Organic certified cotton crops.
The festive event took place in the presence of Helmy Abouleish, SEKEMs CEO and his wife Konstanze Abouleish, commercial manager of NatureTex, SEKEMs Company for Organic Textiles. Al-Sddik Rashad, the head of the 20 contracted farmers in Damietta, hosted the event on his land. The celebration was also attended by a group of Italian guests, who are friends of SEKEM and are interested in Egyptian cotton and other SEKEM products. Besides, high profile representatives from the Egyptian government attended the event, for instance: Gad Al-Naggar, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Hazem Hawas, President of the Damietta city council.
SEKEM supports cooperation in regard to sustainable cotton production
On an area of 32 hectares (80 feddans) SEKEMs contracted farmers in Kafr Saad cultivated long and extra-long staple Organic cotton – known as Giza 87 and Giza 45. These two kinds of cotton crops are not only known for their finest quality, but like all SEKEMs products, the cotton has been cultivated by SEKEM under the Organic guidelines, without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
This Organic yield is proactively integrated into Egypt’s export strategy for this year. Besides, SEKEM supports an agreement signed by the Egyptian government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), under the title “Cotton for Life”. This initiative aims to develop and apply environmental protocols to sustain the Egyptian cotton industry, starting from its cultivation till the end product – a closed value chain, which SEKEM already promotes since 1977. SEKEM is actively engaged in this agreement with its new partner, the Italian cotton company Filmar that now integrates SEKEMs Organic cotton in its assortment.
Pioneer of Organic Cotton in Egypt
SEKEM is known as Egypt`s pioneer of Organic cotton cultivation since the initiative could find a solution to reduce the pesticides that have been sprayed on Egypt`s cotton fields by over 90 % in the 1990s. Today, SEKEM cooperates with roughly 800 contracted farmers, who apply Biodynamic and Organic agricultural methods all over Egypt. This year, 360 farmers of them cultivate a total area of more than 370 Hectares (915 feddans) of Egypt’s lands with Organic cotton crops. Most of their farms are located in the governorates Kafr El-sheikh, Fayoum, Beheira and recently also in Damietta. In cooperation with the Egyptian Bio-Dynamic Association (EBDA), SEKEM is looking forward to getting around 1900 tons of Organic cotton as a final yield during this year.