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Pioneer Farm: Habiba Organic Farm

17/12/2012

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This is a small farm in desert of South Sinai with a big idea: Habiba Organic Farm wants to revolutionize community-based agriculture in Egypt. Founded by Maged El Said in 2007, Habiba is located near the sea in the city of Nuweiba in the southern Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai and its people have a long and storied tradition, but little history of self-sufficient farming. We want to change that. 

It's an ambitious plan. Currently the farm acts as a sort of community center, encouraging people from the local area to come and participate in the growing process. We provide help, whether through seeds, labor, or expertise in helping local people cultivate land of their own.

We are now finalizing plans to start the Habiba Permaculture Training Center, where we can teach people from Nuweiba and beyond the skills in creating designs (both in their farms and homes) that meet the standards of permaculture, the innovative techniques allowing the cultivation of land in the desert. We currently invite volunteers from around the world to join us in our mission. The Habiba community serves as a wonderful center where different cultures meet, a place where ideas that emphasizes the goals of the farm are shared.

We are also working to expand the Sinai Date Palm Foundation, run through Habiba Organic Farm. The foundation is sponsoring the cultivation of a date palm forest in the lands of Nuweiba.

Currently numbering a few dozen of the finest date-producing trees, the foundation seeks to see the land of Sinai one day covered in organic date palms that can bring sustainable wealth to the community. We are partnering with the local community to help local families invest in trees which can provide an income for years to come. The project is also remarkable for our focus on micro-finance investment, so people from around the world can sponsor a date palm tree and help the community grow. Movements like this encourage more than desert cultivation, they can foster meaningful cultural collaboration from passionate individuals located around the globe.

Our eventual goal is to create a sustainable community model in the desert. Through responsible cultivation, structured design, and the support of the local community, this ambitious plan is achievable. We are working to combine all aspects of life - from the food we eat, the home that we live in, to the ocean that we fish in - into a sustainable cycle for development.