110 Mr Abouleish you have made it Sekem s goal to bring Egypt up to 100 percent organic agriculture by 2057 Has anyone ever told you that you re being overambitious After the death of my fa ther in 2017 we took time to reflect on the past 40 years in cluding all of the wonders that have taken place since Sekem was founded in 1977 Then came the question What s our next step What will the next wonder be We thought about it for a year And what emerged was a vi sion not just for Sekem but for all of Egypt Egypt must become more sustainable and more organic Over the next 40 years we see Sekem becoming an internation al competence centre a social innovation laboratory for holistic and sustainable development Our key are as of focus are economic ecological cultural and social It is our aim to take the things we ve achieved as Sekem on a small scale and apply them across Egyptian society One of our 18 objectives is having Egypt fully converted to sustainable organic agriculture by 2057 How will that work We are starting with ourselves Our goals for the next ten years include achieving 100 percent renewable energy use a positive climate balance and our own sustainable water supply If we can t do this at Sekem we ll never be able to do it across Egypt That s why we have our tar gets and then there s the question of how we in col laboration with Heliopolis University can spread them throughout Egypt A POT OF TEA WITH Helmy AbouleishManaging Director of the Sekem Initiative in Egypt And the university serves as a sort of springboard for implementing Sekem s goals throughout Egypt Yes Sekem and the university would like to achieve this objec tive together Of course it s a huge goal an almost impossible mission But that s exactly what we love that s exactly what we are capable of Take our Greening the Desert project How can I get the world to help me make the desert green We are doing that now as a crowdfunded project and Lebensbaum has joined in That s why the first pivot irrigation system is named Lebensbaum Why do you have to go out into the desert i sn t there enough fertile land in the Nile delta Egyptian agriculture is artificial It s only green in places where there is irrigation And that s also where 100 million people live today where there used to be only 10 million Agricul ture in the Nile delta from Alexandria to Aswan will unfortu nately not exist as such in the future It will become more of an overpopulated and polluted catchment area of the Nile where people continue to build for their children and grand children The Egyptian population is growing by 2 5 million people each year Right now there are 100 million of us and by 2050 there will be 150 million This is what sparked the idea that Sekem already started pursuing 40 years ago building new communities on reclaimed desert land where people can live work and learn together sustainably That is the purpose of Greening the Desert When you settle in the desert you need water How does that work You have to drill wells and manage water carefully because it is a precious source of life And then cultivate biodynamic products using as little water as possible It is also a question of timing You water the crops in the early morning and late evening In the afternoon you take a long siesta 5 Quality has roots

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