Tastes Like Chicken…

While half of our team visited production facilities and NGOs in Upper Egypt (Assiut), Cory, Joe and I remained in Cairo to hold down the fort.  We spent the last three days conducting interviews with NGOs and chicken farmers, visiting a juice and jam processing plant, and a holding a focus group with women entrepreneurs (who are quite rare in Egypt).  As has been echoed constantly throughout the trip – we’re continuing to learn A LOT…

Cory & Joe dressed and ready for our tour of Vitrac's juice and jam plant

Note the women are holding ND pins - they were really thankful for their little gifts (despite initially thinking we gave them one earring...)

The most interesting part of our last three days has definitely been our visit to the chicken farms.  Chicken farms, we’ve since learned, are not the most glamourous of places – our interviews were conducted in the presence of noisy squawking and scratching with the delicious smell of chicken ‘waste’ wafting past our noses.  The farmers, however, were very generous about providing information (through a translator) about the challenges they are facing and changes that have occurred in the industry since the revolution – low barriers to entry, expired medicines, high cost of importing feed, and little oversight provide farmers with a grim outlook on the future.

holy chickens.

Cory, chicken farmer, and Rosalie, our CRS hero (and translator)

baby chicks! so so many!

Tomorrow our team is reunited just in time for some of our most anticipated meetings of our trip – USAID and the Freedom and Justice Party.  More to come…