Italy invests in Egypt’s tomato value chain
The Italian Development Cooperation is contributing more than €4.55m to two United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) projects in Egypt and Iraq. A signing ceremony to launch the projects took place at the UNIDO headquarters.
The Egypt project has been developed after an in-depth analysis of the Egyptian tomato value chain. Egypt produces about eight million tonnes of fresh tomatoes per year and is the world’s fifth largest producer, which can be attributed to its suitable climate, dual seasonality and fertile lands.
However, only three to four per cent of the tomato crop is processed, and the processing sector suffers from a lack of integration with the supply chain.
The project will enhance the linkages between supply and processing factories, improve the quality of tomato production and processing, strengthen the technical skills of workers and managers in the processing factories, and improve existing marketing strategies in order to tap into new markets. It aims at value-addition and enhanced technical capacities of youth, thereby increasing employability and job opportunities.
The goal of the Iraq project is to promote existing and potential investments in Iraq in order to expand the share of the private sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP and to create employment opportunities for poverty alleviation and accelerated economic growth of Iraq.
It will have a dual focus, on one hand, increasing direct foreign investment, and on the other, increasing the impact of existing direct foreign investment through skills upgrading and increased local supply chain linkages.
In 2018 Italy was the largest governmental donor providing voluntary contributions to UNIDO, and in his statement at the signing ceremony, UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, expressed his appreciation of Italy’s important financial and political support. Li said, “Italy has always been an effective advocate of UNIDO and of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We share a common vision to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development to tackle inequalities at all levels.”
Li noted that the Egypt project will be implemented with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, as well as the local private sector, which will be the initiative’s primary beneficiary.