A grant agreement worth €22m to implement the European Union-funded project to support agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) was signed Sunday.
More than 400 agricultural SMEs are expected to benefit from the project, while it will create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. The fund is expected to reach more than 16,000 beneficiaries over seven years, according to a statement.
The signing ceremony of the grant agreement was attended by the Head of Operations of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, Counsellor Diego Escalano-Paturel, the French Ambassador to Egypt, Andre Parent, and the Egyptian Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Essam Fayed.
The grant agreement is in cooperation with the French Agency for Development (AFD), represented by the director of the AFD Cairo office, Stéphanie Lanfranchi, and Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.
The grant originates from the EU and has been delegated to AFD. It will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.
The project aims to increase the income of agricultural stakeholders through facilitating access to credit and integrating the benefits of the agricultural sector.
Contribution to this project in the form of an EU donation is essential to strengthen the capacities of the different actors of the agricultural sector, especially in dairy and marine aquaculture sectors, according to the statement.
This grant will also allow the development of an innovative guarantee scheme, the first Trust Fund entirely dedicated to the agricultural sector in Egypt.
The EU with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Commercial International Bank (CIB), and the Credit Guarantee Company (CGC) will be strongly involved in the credit line and the guarantee scheme implementation, according to the statement.