At the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin, Helmy Abouleish, CEO of SEKEM and partner of the Farms4Climate project, in which AIR Institute is involved, shared an inspiring vision for the future of food and agriculture. His speech highlighted SEKEM's unique model based on biodynamic agriculture and the "Economy of Love", designed to address significant challenges in Egypt and beyond.
With only seven million acres along the Nile to feed 110 million Egyptians, SEKEM faced immense challenges. However, the vision of Helmy's father Ibrahim Abouleish led to a miracle in the desert. Over the past 46 years, SEKEM has demonstrated that biodynamic agriculture can turn sand into fertile soil, where small farmers produce crops with yields similar to conventional methods, while using less water and earning a better income.
Economy of Love and financial sustainability
SEKEM's "Economy of Love" is based on transparent supply chains and biodynamic certification. This unique approach addresses the four key issues on the impact of food on the environment, on people, on society and the true cost of food. In addition, SEKEM has developed agricultural carbon credits that not only reduce emissions in Egypt, but also improve farmers' incomes.
Inspired by the success, SEKEM is looking to expand its impact. They aim to engage 40,000 farmers in the next two years and are on track to reach 250,000 farmers. International recognition, including awards such as the Livelihood Award and recognition from the World Economic Forum, supports the validity of their approach.
Helmy Abouleish made an impassioned plea to support the initiative. By recognising agricultural carbon credits and facilitating their access to the voluntary carbon market at fair prices, SEKEM aims to generate global impact. The support of the international community is essential to catalyse change towards a more sustainable food system.