FAO strengthens Egyptian institutions staff capacity to prepare and analyse rural investments using the RuralInvest toolkit

  • RuralInvest is one of FAO’s flagship capacity development tool which contributes to FAO’s Strategic Objective 4 “Enable inclusive and efficient agricultural food systems”.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched in Cairo the first Training on RuralInvest, a free multilingual methodology and toolkit for preparing and analysing rural investment and business plans.

RuralInvest is one of FAO’s flagship capacity development tool which contributes to FAO’s Strategic Objective 4 “Enable inclusive and efficient agricultural food systems”.

Expected outcomes

This first RuralInvest training in Egypt, which will be concluded on September 19th, aims at building a community of RuralInvest users and initiate steps for identifying potential national trainers. It will tackle preparing and analyzing project profiles (a rapid step to analyze the feasibility of investment ideas) and full-fledged detailed project formulation and multiyear business plans analysis, as well as the database functions embedded in the software. The training is funded by the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) Project “Investment Forum and Promoting Sustainable Investment in Egypt’s Food Security”.

About 30 participants are participating in the training. They come from a wide range of institutions:

  • Senior officials from the Ministry of Agricultural and Land Reclamation (MALR) Economics and Extension Sectors, and from investment projects attached to MALR supported by international financing institutions, notably the PRIME (Promotion of Rural Incomes through Market Enhancement Project) and the EU Joint Rural Development Programme;
  • Professors and researchers from national universities and agricultural research institutions who attended the RuralInvest Sensitization Workshop in September 2018;
  • Staff from national financial institutions (the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development agency –MSMEDA; the Agricultural Bank of Egypt; the National Bank of Egypt; and MISR Bank)
  • Staff from federations of producers’ organizations and cooperatives.

As stated by Mr. Nasredin HagElamin, FAO Representative in Egypt in his welcoming speech: “investments are key for rural development, enhancing food security, and reducing poverty. It is well documented that the bulk of investments in the agricultural sector and rural areas are private and domestic, and made by the producers and value chains actors themselves. However these actors often lack practical and simple tools that allow them to study the feasibility and risks associated to various investment options, best use of their savings and to apply for loans and grants from various sources”.

“The RuralInvest toolkit was developed and implemented by FAO to fill that gap. For the diffusion of RuralInvest, FAO adopts a training of trainer (ToT) approach which encompasses certifying national RuralInvest trainers that will be in charge of progressively disseminating the use of the toolkit. It aims also to establish anchor units in charge of planning and running the RuralInvest training dissemination programme, quality control, and system administration. We are very glad that several national universities and financial institutions attend this first training as experience in other countries showed us that participation of academics and financial institutions is key for the sustainable adoption and use of RuralInvest” HagElamin added.

“By the end of the introductory training, participants will be able to understand key concepts around preparing and analysing project profiles and full-fledged business plans using the software; appreciate how they can apply RuralInvest on-the-job in their respective organizations, and whether their institution may adopt the toolkit and be willing to organize a full RuralInvest training and dissemination programme; provide information of the toolkit use benefits to the senior management of their respective institution and initiate colleagues to the use of the toolkit; and reflect on whether they are able and willing to potentially become RuralInvest national trainers” said Marc Fantinet, Senior Investment Support Officer, Investment Centre Division (DPI), FAO.

The way forward

The 5-day introductory training will be followed by a capitalization and knowledge exchange session before the end of 2019, after a few months of utilization of the toolkit by participants, in order to notably select potential national trainers. These would then co-train, together with FAO staff, other end users of the toolkit use in order to become certified RuralInvest trainers and be able to implement the RuralInvest dissemination programme on their own.

For more information about RuralInvest, including access to the e-learning material and software, please visit:

http://www.fao.org/in-action/rural-invest/en (in English)

http://www.fao.org/egypt/news/detail-events/en/c/1153652/

or

http://www.fao.org/in-action/rural-invest/ar/ (in Arabic).

http://www.fao.org/egypt/news/detail-events/ar/c/1153654/

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations