This private-sector initiative based in Egypt was founded with the vision of sustainable development and giving back to the community. SEKEM believes in a holistic approach that integrates ecology, economy, and societal and cultural life. Since 1977, SEKEM’s goals have been to restore and maintain the vitality of soil and food and the biodiversity of nature through sustainable, organic agriculture and social and cultural development.
Their network includes over 2,000 farmers and partner organizations. SEKEM operates under fair trade and fair pricing principles, promotes good governance, focuses on education at all levels, believes in holistic approaches to building fertile soils and providing guaranteed pricing and income security for farmers.
In 1991, SEKEM recognized that there were planes spraying 36,000 tons of pesticides on cotton fields annually, which also affected SEKEM’s biodynamic cultivation. SEKEM started to do fieldwork and research on how to fight the cotton pests without using chemical pesticides. After three years, SEKEM could prove the effectiveness of sustainable pest control across Egypt and convinced the Egyptian government to change the law to prohibit spraying chemical pesticides by plane on cotton fields. The amount of pesticides used in Egypt’s cotton production has been reduced by more than 90%.
Photo by SEKEM Company