Mrs. RAWYA MANSOUR – Leading the Smart Agricultural Movement for Egypt and the Middle East
It was a great pleasure to meet Mrs. Rawya Mansour – a leading personality, social entrepreneur, international businesswomen, environmentalist and womans’rights activist; a global citizen, who has a deep commitment to Egypt’s future, Egypt’s Vision 2030 and to meeting the goals of the upcoming COP 27, to take place in November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh. Mrs. Mansour is a firm believer that sustainable food systems are the future – systems that encompass transforming the agricultural systems, with the ultimate goal of creating zero waste scenarios based on the recycling of agricultural waste and creating renewable energy. To this end, in 2009, she created RAMSCO for Sustainable Agricultural Development where cutting edge approachs to organic agro-business were developed through the invention of fertilizers and agro-technology.
In 2012, Mrs. Mansour established OASIS (Organic Agriculture for Social International Solidarity) in the Principality of Monaco. Mansour’s work proved to be breakthrough tools for climate chanage adaptation. These include two main interventions: Bio-char and Bio-fertilizer.
Mrs. Mansour patented machines that recycled rice straw and other agri-waste that pollute cities like Cairo (“black smog”) and turns it into biochar. Biochar has been proven to be a key method of reversing climate change, as it is capable of reclaiming desertification and decreasing green house gas from agri-waste. RAMSCO/OASIS have also patented Bio-fertilizer, which is proven to effectively reduce agricultural cost, water consumption and increase yield of high-quality organic produce.
Biochar is a charcoal carbon product derived from biomass that can enhance soils, store carbon, and provide reusable energy. It has carbon storage permanence in soil for hundreds of years. Biochar is produced by subjecting biomass to elevated temperatures, extracting energy in the form of heat, gas/ oils while retaining a large portion of the original biomass carbon in the solid form (Charcoal). The result of this process is that the solid carbon becomes biochar, and when returned to soil, it increases and enhances the mineral, nutrient and water capacity in the soil. On the other hand, Bio-fertilizers are recommended for improving the soil fertility in organic farming. Natural fertilizers are microbial inoculants of bacteria, algae and fungi, which helps the fixation of biological nutrients that in turn feed the plants. They build the soil micro-flora and in turn the soil health.
Companies worldwide have clamored to obtain the patents for the RAMSIS/OASIS technologies, ranging from Europe to the Middle East, India, Brazil and more to come, a testament to their effectiveness and impact.
Together with addressing environmental degradation Mrs. Mansour works tirelessly towards poverty alleviationn and empowerment of rural women. Currently RAMSCO employs young women in organic farming and provides training on quality packaging to ensure gender equality, hence supporting women autonomy and financial independence. In addition, RAMSCO has a policy for equal salaries for both men and women farmers, as well as health insurane benefits.
Mrs. Mansour’s mission is to create a greener North Africa and Middle East and better quality of life for everyone in this region. She envisions RAMSCO/OASIS as a Pioneer in this space, with a comprehensive sustainable approach to mitigating impact of climate change and becoming the first integrated smart agriculture in this region, one that will set the path for an organized Smart Agriculture Movement. A Movement that falls well within the scope of COP 27, especially in light of the emphasis on the role of private sector, as a key stakeholder in addressing the climate change impact, and in providing solutions to these challenges.
This interview is part of the Yalla Healthy Living (YHL) series: CALL TO ACTION for COP 27 (November 2022, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt): harnessing the groundswell of energy rising from the Middle East to bring health to people and the planet. Website: yallahealthyliving.com Instagram: yallahealthyliving