Press Release

USAID Sponsors the Inauguration of the Siwa Agricultural Cooperative Association’s Olive Primary Processing Facility

Siwa| February 20, 2013: The Siwa Agricultural Cooperative Association’s (SACA) Olive Primary Processing Facility was inaugurated today by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). As a result of the new facility, 10 new jobs were created and an estimated 600 olive farmers are benefiting from the expertise of its technicians in olive processing throughout Siwa Oasis. The facility was developed through training and grant support provided by USAID’s Zaytun Project and implemented by CNFA, an international development organization based in Washington, D.C.

The SACA’s primary processing facility utilizes modern methods and technology for pickling and storing table olives. In its first year alone, the facility processed nearly 45 tons of table olives for its members. SACA members now have the opportunity to collectively store and market their olives directly to processors when the pricing is advantageous.  In addition, the grant project empowers SACA’s olive growing members to side-step middle men and control the marketing and transportation of its products. Several companies have already expressed interest in purchasing their stored olives.

The Zaytun Project established and equipped the facility along with providing the cooperative with vital training courses, including best practices in primary processing for technicians and financial management training for their administrative staff. These training sessions equipped SACA members with the skills to create and run similar processing units, a goal which many farmers have expressed.

This facility has generated a significant improvement in the quality and marketing of Siwan olives and has great potential for filling the growing local and international demand for olive products.