Egypt: Environmentally responsible agricultural practices in jasmine fields
Helping farmers find sustainable ways of protecting one of the most precious flowers in perfumery.
Together with India, Egypt is one of the two world leaders in jasmine extract production for perfumes. More than 90 percent of jasmine fields are located within the Gharbia Governorate, where the plants are fed by the rich soil and waters of the Nile delta. Making up the living of about 50,000 farmers and pickers, Jasmine is a major crop in Egypt. As jasmine flowers bloom over a long period of seven months, the plant provides producers with a more stable income than other crops.
The jasmine plant is subject to attacks by a number of insects and pests. To preserve crop yields and thus their income, the farmers depend on effective plant protection measures. However, yields can only be sustainably secured if the steps taken by farmers facilitate an ecological balance and the enhancement of soil health. In order to develop and promote environmentally sustainable plant protection measures, we initiated a project carried out in partnership with Givaudan’s jasmine supplier and an organisation specialised in environmental and fair trade training.
In 2020, 400 smallholder farmers in the Tanta area were informed about environmentally responsible plant protection measures. As a result, one in two farmers joined a training program in which they are supported in adopting improved agricultural practices. As the initiative coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, its roll-out demanded particular efforts from all stakeholders.
In spite of the current difficulties and challenges, we have continued to work as much as possible with the jasmine pickers. Thanks to the training programme, a new link has been created and is facilitating the farmers’ change of agricultural practices.
Cherifa, Fakhry & Co jasmine supplier