On October 9th 2016, the annual conference of the German Science Centre (DWZ) Cairo was held and tackled the topic “Thoughts for Food: Sustainable Agriculture and its Technological and Social Opportunities”.

The conference was opened with the welcome notes by the DAAD Secretary General Dr. Dorothea Rüland, and Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Julius Georg Luy. The conference was organized in cooperation with the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) and the EU Delegation to the Arab Republic of Egypt, and conceptualized with the special support of Hany El-Kateb, Member of the Presidential Advisory Council of Scientists and Experts in Egypt. It hosted experts from Germany and Egypt, with many members of the ARC joining, with many of the contributing their research during interesting presentations and fruitful discussions.

The one-day conference was structured into three sessions, covering the topics “Challenges in the Transition from Conventional to Sustainable Agriculture”, “Innovations for Sustainable Agriculture” and “Resource Efficiency by Biotechnological Applications”.  Please find the results of the conference on the German Science Centre’s website: dwz-kairo.de

When it comes to sustainable farming in Egypt there are two extraordinary farms with idea’s that challenge the current state of the art in agriculture. Firstly, Bustan Aquaponics, which was founded in 2011 by Faris Farrag with the intention of practicing clean farming and to grow premium vegetables through aquaponics (resource efficient, zero loss faming based on a closed water system fertilized through fish farming). And Egyptian Hydrofarms, founded by Amr Bassiouny in 2013, who has shifted to the technique of hydroponics – soil less agriculture through a closed water system – after realizing that most soil in Egypt was of low quality, irrigation water was scarce and polluted or high in salts, and summers were too long to grow any cool-weather crops effectively. Both founders had the chance to give an input on sustainable farming in Egypt at the conference itself and during the visit of about 30 experts who got the opportunity to see the results of alternative, fresh and sustainable food production on the ground during a fieldtrip to both farms on October 10, 2016.