Publication Date: 15/06/2017

The Youth Employment Project (YEP) is a project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The project started in September 2014 with a 3-year plan aiming at providing job creation and income increase opportunities to the youth in Aswan, in the agricultural sector. Aswan, in particular, has suffered economically since 2011, with a continuation of slowdown in tourism. While the majority of employment percentage in Aswan comes from agriculture, the economy as a whole is largely tourism based. The agricultural sector is an economic opportunity in Aswan, with potential of employment and increased income to the rural communities, and the economy at large. The project is designed to serve the agricultural sector in Aswan, which is heavily based on smallholder agriculture. Young people from the rural areas of Aswan have no option other than to work in the agricultural sector or to commute or migrate to the capital or to other urban centers across Upper Egypt in search of employment and better prospects. With this opportunity in the plan, the project was designed based on two outcomes (1) Increased production or revenue and profits for farmers, fishermen, traders and processors in the horticulture, livestock, aquaculture and fisheries value chains; and (2) Enabling environment improved for the development of new and existing horticulture, livestock, aquaculture and fisheries businesses in Aswan. Seven value chains were identified to be the focus of the project: Dairy, Poultry, Sheep/Goat, Fisheries/Aquaculture, Date Palm, Tomato, and Aromatic/Medicinal Plants. Interventions in each value chain were addressed through the micro financing, zero interest loans, capacity building and technical assistance. The project worked closely with local CDAs and Coops to build their capacities and encourage these associations to work with business models that are sustainable and income generating, aiming at providing job opportunities to the youth in the agricultural sector. The project faced several challenges in kicking off the activities, while establishing the Agriculture Services & Development Foundation (ASDF), in parallel, as a main project outcome. The findings of the evaluation resulted in seizing the project and its activities, as the project had not achieve the expected targets. Nevertheless, there were lessons learnt and best practices, along the way, in the value chains, processes, and community engagement that need to be documented, as references, for future projects. This is a documentation report, developed by Outreach Egypt Consultancy for Development, to record thoroughly the project design, targets, logical framework, activities, and achievements. The report also documents each value chain and the interventions related to each, while documenting lessons learnt, challenges and best practices. [140 pages]

Evaluation Type