National experts and extension officers in Egypt trained on sustainable nutrition-sensitive agricultural water productivity practices to promote food and nutrition security
From 7 to 8 August, members of the Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture Water Productivity (NsAWP) project, implemented by FAO with financial support from IFAD, hosted a training session to build the capacity of national experts and extension officers to implement nutrition-sensitive agricultural production strategies in the context of water scarcity. Attendees included experts in agriculture, water and nutrition from government institutions, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies, such as IFAD.
The training workshop was held in a hybrid format, with 30 participants joining in-person in Aswan, Egypt and several trainers connecting virtually. There was simultaneous interpretation in English and Arabic, which facilitated cross-country engagement and exchange of experiences.
Naglaa ElBendary, the National NsAWP Project Coordinator for Egypt, opened the event by introducing the NsAWP project and identifying key learning objectives for the workshop. Ahmed Al Qot, the national project coordinator, provided remarks about the goals of the project and how they align with the government’s agenda related to nutrition-sensitive agriculture. These remarks were followed by an overview of the Farmer Field School approach and its relevance for the implementation of the NsAWP guidelines.
Facilitators presented on diverse topics that align with the NsAWP project’s aim to promote knowledge and implementation of sustainable water and agricultural practices that improve livelihoods and nutrition outcomes. These topics included:
- Nutrition, healthy diets and post-harvest management
- Sustainable water management practice
- Sustainable soil fertility and agronomic management practices, including land use planning
- The use of indigenous and traditional crops, improved varieties and crop diversification
- Water for sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Presentations for each topic were concluded by group discussions, during which participants reflected on and discussed contextually relevant barriers, technologies and adaptations that could be considered for more effective methods of programme implementation.
The session concluded with a moderated discussion among online and in-person participants. They asked questions about follow-up actions and how they could be engaged in the post-training project activities. Attendees left with a greater knowledge and understanding of the NsAWP guidelines and practices, and increased capacity to adapt and implement these guidelines. Participants expressed their gratitude for and satisfaction with the content presented at the workshop. Further, they shared how the knowledge obtained through the training will help them to improve agricultural production and marketing activities.
In the coming weeks, additional training at the field level will be conducted using participatory approaches in three districts in Egypt: Wadi AlNokra, Wadi AlSaida, and Aswan. Extension officers will work with farmers in these districts to strengthen their capacities to adopt sustainable water, soil and agronomic management practices, in line with the NsAWP guidelines.