Michigan State University is joining other leading agricultural institutions in the U.S. and Egypt to help establish the Egyptian Center of Excellence for Agriculture, or COEA, in Cairo.
Funded by a five-year, $30 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, the new center will enhance the ability to address emerging agricultural needs in Egypt through enhancement of curricula, research and training.
“MSU has longstanding relationships in Egypt, working in the country for more than two decades,” said Doug Buhler, the director of MSU AgBioResearch and a co-principal investigator on the project. “We are honored to collaborate with USAID and our university partners to equip Egypt with the tools they need to meet the growing demand for sustainable agricultural production.”
MSU will oversee the center’s Exchanges, Training and Scholarships, which trains Egyptian faculty and students in both Egypt and the U.S. A needs assessment will be conducted in summer 2019 to outline training requirements and identify MSU faculty to work with the partners.
Egyptian agriculture faculty members will have opportunities to broaden their expertise and students will benefit from an innovative curriculum. Scholarships will be awarded to targeted populations, such as women and economically disadvantaged students, to promote inclusiveness within the industry.
Karim Maredia, an MSU professor and director of World TAP -- an international training program at MSU in agriculture and development, joins Buhler as one of the institutional leads from MSU.
Nanda Joshi, associate professor in the MSU Department of Animal Science and international program liaison, will direct the day-to-day operations for MSU.
“We will be approaching this project from a number of angles,” Joshi said. “In addition to training, MSU is leading the overall project’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, or MEL, component, as well as gender. This should be an inclusive process, and understanding how these issues factor into long-term economic development is very important.”
MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources faculty member Mywish Maredia, a professor in the MSU Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, and Wenda Bauchspies, an associate professor in the MSU Department of Community Sustainability, are also part of the project.
The center is part of a broader plan to advance Egypt’s economic development and quality of life for its citizens by 2030. Separate centers of excellence focusing on energy as well as water are also being established with USAID funding.
The project is led by Cornell University and Cairo University. Other partners include Purdue University, University of California-Davis, Ain Shams University, Assuit University, Benha University and Suez Canal University. Sathguru, a global consulting firm headquartered in India, is facilitating the technology transfer.