About Our Center
RISE training programs focus on practical on-the-job agricultural assignments, along with a collective comprehension of up-to-date theories. Our training facilities are located at The American University in Cairo (AUC) New Cairo campus and Sadat City Station. We are committed to providing high-quality practical training that would contribute to improving technical skills of labor force in the agriculture field.
Our Training Concept
We believe in learning by doing. We are designing our training programs in a way to enforce the practical side of the learning process. Our concept is to become a center of excellence providing practical training through short courses at specific skill requirements of Egypt’s developing horticultural sector.
The horticultural sector includes permanent tree and vine fruits, greenhouse production and certain open field vegetables and fruits. The sector also includes cut flowers and ornamentals, although these are not included in the scope of the present grant.
RISE training programs are market-oriented and demand-driven. RISE staff conducted needs assessments and held stakeholder consultations with farms and agricultural companies, and RISE trainers work with Dutch experts both in the Netherlands and Egypt to design a curriculum of courses complete with training materials, exercises and hands-on applications.
Development of the Training Center
RISE is building on the legacy of the Desert Development Center (DDC), which was established as a research center of The American University in Cairo in 1979 with the aim to improve the social and economic well-being of people living in desert communities by developing financially and ecologically sustainable rural livelihoods. Through agricultural and socioeconomic research, training programs, and community outreach services, the then DDC sought to make the desert a viable and attractive place to live. Since its founding, DDC carried out applied research ranging from livestock development under desert conditions to testing the energy efficiency of different domestic and farm architectural forms.
The training of desert settlers, farmers, especially those who own small and medium-sized farms, and agricultural technicians was one of the three main tiers of the DDC. In 1995, the DDC opened a training center on its South Tahrir Research Station that accommodated up to 100 trainees. The research station and training center was then located 150 km from Cairo, along the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road. The area adjacent to this road witnessed an enormous surge in agricultural development over the past three decades, hosting several medium and large-scale agricultural farms. Since its inception, DDC Training Center has trained over 11,000 graduates, farmers, teachers and students.
The NICHE Project
RISE has had a long-standing cooperation with the Dutch government in capacity development of staff members working in the agricultural sector. Based on several meetings held with the stakeholders and role players in the agriculture sector, RISE decided to seek closer and more intensive cooperation with the Dutch government through the Netherlands Initiative for Cooperation in Higher Education that was launched in 2010. RISE also had some consultations with independent Dutch institutions as well as business visits to the Netherlands in May 2010.
RISE started implementation of a four-year project in October 2011 under the name Supporting a Best Practice National Center for Agricultural Training in Egypt with a total budget of 1 million Euros. The project aims at developing RISE trainers’ capacity through a series of training of trainers (TOT) in order to qualify them to be practical trainers. The project will also work on upgrading the training facilities in both locations -- AUC New Cairo and Sadat City Research Station -- in order to provide state-of-the-art training facilities.
The NICHE project also dedicates a special part of its components to gender. According to the 2012 report of Egypt’s Central Agency for Census and Statistics, women are officially registered as comprising only 23 percent of the formal, registered workforce. But because much of their work is informal, the World Food Programme estimates that in reality women account for more than 75 percent of the agricultural labor force in Egypt.
The significance of the gender role in agriculture will be embedded in integrating gender-sensitive components in the training programs that are designed to be delivered to workforce of the agricultural sector. RISE took the chance and started reviewing its own gender practices. We, at RISE, have developed a gender policy that will be reviewed and hopefully adopted by the AUC administration.