Urban Greens is the first startup featured on The Greener Path, a WAYA original series sponsored by Royal Herbs highlighting eco-friendly startups in Egypt.
Over the last few years, immense changes in Egypt’s urban patterns have gradually shifted agricultural practices far away from the country’s capital, Cairo. The food we consume must be driven hundreds of kilometers, which in turn, uses a great deal of energy in transportation, and usually results in un-fresh produce that becomes treated with pesticides and preservatives that diminish its health value.
Yehia Almasry and Abdallah Tawfik founded Urban Greens in early 2017 to promote the concept of urban agriculture in the expanding city of Cairo. The idea of Urban Greens Egypt came to Tawfik during his work at the Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment at the American University in Cairo. At the time, he was working on applied research related to urban development with a focus on smart and sustainable solutions – especially on the topics of green and open spaces.
“That’s when I realized that urban agriculture is an important tool that should be incorporated intensively in Cairo’s vacant spaces, lands or roofs.”Abdallah Tawfik, Co-founder, Urban Greens
During his research, Tawfik soon learned about the continuous degradation and encroachment on productive agricultural land on the outskirts of Cairo, and how the land is gradually disappearing and jeopardizing future food production opportunities in Egypt.
Urban Greens tailors different hydroponic systems, provide hydroponic consultancies, and creates business solutions to interested individuals, companies, or any other interested entities.
When it comes to business models Urban Greens have two; acting as live hubs for rooftop farming hydroponic techniques. The two rooftop farms are situated on the top of two residential buildings in Heliopolis and the 5th Settlement. These farms act as research and learning hubs for different farming experiments, and for practical training sessions for schools and individuals.
Yehia Almasry and Abdallah Tawfik’s objective is to create a new food movement that encourages pesticide-free, clean, fresh and local produce.
This movement aims to change the traditional cycle that our food goes through, and encourages a new and transparent approach from field to table. As a result, fresh produce is guaranteed, without the potentially harmful effects of pesticides and preservatives.
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