October 13, 2014, Cairo, Egypt – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is currently implementing a project entitled “Upgrading the Medicinal and Aromatic value Chain – Access to Export Markets” (EMAP). The project’s main supply areas are Fayoum, Beni Souif, Menya and Assuit governorates in Upper Egypt. EMAP aims at increasing exports of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP) products and increasing social welfare through generating better income for the MAP value chain, transferring technology techniques to those working in the MAP sector, raising employability and ensuring food quality and safety throughout the whole process of essential oils production. “EMAP is working on upgrading the value chain of MAP in Egypt through an integrated approach composed of establishing a national quality scheme, raising compliance capacity of all members of the value chain and facilitating market access to MAP producers in order to improve the position of MAP products in International markets.” said Dr. Omar Abdeen, EMAP project national director, “It helps all essential oils supply chain members to comply with technical regulations, codes of good practices and conformity standards required by export markets.”

The main objectives of the project are:

  • Upgrading supply chain for the project beneficiaries in terms of linkages, productivity and quality.
  • Giving target groups market access to MAP products on the Local and International levels.

EMAP benefits the MAP growers, traders, agronomists and essential oils producers and exporters. It is working on giving the supply chain members access to better agricultural production techniques, access to better processing technologies and making use of byproducts from the essential oil extraction process. Till now the number of final exporters supported through EMAP reached 41, while the number of traders supported and integrated in the quality mark reached 83.

EMAP designed and conducted a comprehensive export coaching course aimimg at raising the capacity of small and medium exporters towards better functionality in the export markets. The training program benefited total of 23 participants, and covered several export based topics including Egyptian export startegy, effective communication, national rules and regulations of exporting,  markets selection, logitics and transportation, packing and packaging, pricing policies, bilateral agreements and role of international organizations, distribution channels, and successful participation in trade fairs, etc.

EMAP introduced 18 new varieties to the MAP sector in Egypt. In order to cultivate the new varieties, the project gave the needed technical support to 1006 growers covering 6595 feddans. It offered the beneficiaries technical assistance on good hygiene practices, good manufacturing practices, and handling practices. EMAP team held technical events including workshops, field days, follow-up visits, informative seminars and trainings, and prepared 8 guidelines for selected MAP products to be used by the beneficiaries.

“In order to find the base of institutional sustainability, EMAP facilitated signing cooperation agreement between the Swiss Import Promotion (SIPPO) programme, the Agricultural Export Council and the Food Export Council. The agreement gives the ability to 5-7 Egyptian companies to participate in all relevant MAP fairs under SIPPO’s support,” said Abdeen.

EMAP which was launched in November 2011 and will last till December 2015 is based on partnerships with the private sector and provides strong attention to the International technical measures associated with trade capacity building mechanisms. The project’s approach is highly innovative with an integrated concept of assisting service providers and end beneficiaries with the objective to develop sustainable agribusinesses. It has also a high demonstration effect, as its activities can be replicated in other sectors and other areas of Egypt.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was established in November 1966 to be the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. The mandate of UNIDO is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition.