KEF - Knowledge Economy Foundation

Knowledge Economy Foundation (KEF), NGO No. 8747/Law 84, Ministry of Social Solidarity, Egypt. KEF develops inclusive business approaches focusing on MSMEs linkage to their markets, through the set-up of sustainable marketing networks using ICT-based tools and targeting the agribusiness value chains, serving 7 million farmers in Egypt, representing 85% of the cultivated land with less than 3 acres and the MSMEs in the new agribusiness national projects.

 Inclusive business approach provides “rural entrepreneur” opportunities for the youth at local and regional levels: such as post-harvest services, clusters, etc…

 Establishing “Bashaier” as the 1st Agriculture Digital Marketing Network fulfilling the farmers primary need for sustainable marketing solutions

 ICT tools: mobile and web platform: developing the first application of extension services on mobile, starting with a “Pesticides Guide” and “Weather Alerts”, together with market information and wholesale prices

 On-going activities:

A. The 1st agrifood digital network on mobile apps, web and SMS and online marketplace: for the horticulture, dairy and fish value chains knowledge management and dissemination to the small farmers with “online marketplace” to link directly farmers and buyers and input suppliers, publishing/ matching their offers.

B.The value chain marketing management platform: An independent third party facilitator and on-going marketing support combined with the ICT network, to enable buyers and sellers to reach agreements.

C. The small farmers’ associations network: A capacity building scheme for the small farmers and their associations.

D. Agribusiness SMEs Support Center: A newly launched program to promote innovation and SMEs strategy in value chains, and to initiate an incubator activity.


Knowledge Economy Foundation (KEF) will mainly be involved in WP2, as co Leader of Task 2.3 on “FNSSA Systems Improvement” and as contributor to Task 2.2: “Scientific Sorting Houses”.


  • Ms. J. Dorra Fiani, Marketing and Business Development Expert President, Knowledge Economy Foundation. Managing Director, Knowledge Co. for Sustainable Development.  J. Dorra FIANI is a multi-disciplinary expert combining hands-on experience of project management of multiple projects over 30 years of experience in strategic marketing and business development for a large number of institutions and corporate. Specialized in the B2B market through the launch of innovative business information services, SMEs supply chains and multiple sectoral surveys in Egypt and overseas, with an extended knowledge of the ICT sector through the “content management” activity of her company and the launch of the regional franchise of “Kompass”, the leading B2B web database worldwide and the subsidiary of Coface, the world leading French insurance group in Egypt. This included the management of a large number of business development projects in the Agribusiness sector together with the set-up of a related network of business relations and associates in Europe and the Arab countries.
    • Investing her extensive business development knowledge, entrepreneurship skills and expertise in information systems design and management, Mrs. Fiani established in 2012, with a group of leading experts an NGO, Knowledge Economy Foundation, together with orienting her company activities to the agriculture and agribusiness sectors, with the focus on the SMEs and small farmers communities development. This approach, inspired by successful models in other developing countries, is based on the extensive usage of knowledge management and dissemination using ICT tools and focused on linking the small farmers to their markets within an inclusive business approach and a value chain strategy.
    • The first project, launched in 2015 branded “Bashaier” and focused on the horticulture sector, was acknowledged by the whole agribusiness communities as the first operative agribusiness digital marketing network, together with successful Public Private Partnership cooperation with the related state agencies. It is now replicated by Mrs. Fiani in the fish sector in cooperation with World Fish International Center, to be followed by the dairy sector in cooperation with Ain Shams University, Faculty of Agriculture.
    • Expert in designing “public private partnership programs” of which a partnership with theMinistry of State for Administrative Development, whereas the company created the first SMEs web business and investment guide uploaded on the government portal.
  • Dr. Mohamed Kassem, Senior Agribusiness Expert to KEF. Chief Researcher-Emeritus (Professor) at the Agricultural Extension and Rural Development Research Institute (AERDRI), Agricultural Research Center (ARC) and Director of the Information and Communication for Development unit, Rural and Agriculture Development Communication Network (RADCON) and (VERCON) with their implementation in Egypt and Morocco at AERDRI. He is graduated from Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University and gained his PhD. from Faculty of Agriculture in Moshtohor, Zagazig University, Benha Branch. KEF Senior Consultant.
    • Dr. Kassem, was a key expert to KEF in the adaptation to the Egyptian context of “Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE)” a project of the ILO/International Labour Organization, in a number of developing countries, and participated as Senior Consultant for KEF/KSD, in the Stakeholder Analysis and Foreign Business Models assessment for the horticulture and dairy value chain marketing network.
    • Published several books and articles on agricultural knowledge management; ICT Mechanisms to modernize Agricultural Extension in Egypt; National Agricultural knowledge mapping in Egypt. Consultant for local and international agencies: FAO, IDRC, ICARDA, ILEIA.
  • Dr. Gehane Elmenoufy, Senior Consultant to KEF Chief Researcher (Professor) & Deputy Director for Research, Agriculture Extension and Rural Development Research Institute (AERDRI), Agricultural Research Center.
    • Dr. Elmenoufy was working as consultant to KEF/KSD on reporting on “milk production and processing from gender perspective” for the Dairy value chain project in which KEF/KSD is cooperating with the Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University through a grant from IDRC/ International Development Research Centre – Canada for a period of more than two and half years.
    • Dr. Elmenoufy participated with Dr. Kassem in the adaptation to the Egyptian context of “Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE)”, a project of the ILO/International Labour Organization in a number of developing countries.
    • Participated in the preparation of the scientific materials of the training course provided by KEF/KSD to NGOs/Associations in Minia, members of the network, in cooperation with the Faculty of Agriculture, Minia University in November 2016 on social assessment and gender issues.
    • Monitoring visits to NGOs in 4 governorates through the Local Association for Rural and Central Integrated Development (LARCID).
    • Conducting 3 training courses on “Gender and sustainable development” for National Council of Women (NCW) in Fayoum districts (Markazes), targeting a total of 128 participants.
    • Participated in the NGOs directory for rural women and development (DIMITRA) issued by FAO and CARDNE for Egypt.
    • Participated in the integrated rural development program “Shrouk” program as “TOT trainer” to t Twining program in Egypt to improve and promote Agricultural Research Center (ARC) institutions from 2015 to 2017.
    • Working as Executive Coordinator of social map component within the FAO project titled: Improving Dietary and food security for Egyptian families by targeting women and youth, in 5 Egyptian governorates, 2014 till date.
    • Participated in integrating population, and environment education into ongoing agriculture extension programs, conducted by FAO, UNFPA and Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.
    • Participated in farmers training within the following project: “Adaptation with climate change in west Nasr Lake”, funded by IDRC and implemented by the Near East foundation, Cairo, Egypt, 2010.
    • Prepared and supervised the first phase of ENPARD – EGYPT capacity building program in various training topic and provided field of expertise to EU-EGY (ENPARD) capacity building activities January 2014-May 2014.
    • Participated in the following studies: a) Contract farming in Egypt of cotton, maize and wheat farmers, b) agricultural land violation in Egypt, 2014-2015; also participated in the preparation of the conference titled: Development of the Egyptian rural areas, current and future as a primary attempt to set a rural development strategy for Egypt, 2015.
  • Eng. Hatim Kamal Mahmoud, KEF Senior Consultant – Agribusiness Finance Small Agribusiness Enterprises Development Manager MSME Development Agency. • Worked with KEF/KSD as Senior Consultant on the Dairy value chain project in cooperating with the Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University through a grant from IDRC/ International Development Research Centre – Canada, Eng. Mahmoud prepared 4 business plans for a model Dairy Hub, (a) Concentrated Feed Manufacturing Facility from agricultural waste (b) Integrated Service Unit (c) Milk processing plant (d) Cow milk collecting center. • Through his work with MSME Development Agency (previously known under the name of Social Fund for Development “SFD”), Eng. Mahmoud gained extensive experience:
    • 1. On finance strategic and policy development level, He has participated in developing agribusiness finance strategies for three major financial institutions in Egypt as follow: National bank of Egypt (NBE); Industrial Development and Workers Bank (IDWB); MSME Development Agency.
    • 2. On finance implementation level, Eng. Mahmoud usually work in different phases of loan provision as follow: preparation of standardized business plans used in promoting MSME Development Agency’s financial products directly to end borrowers “e.g. entrepreneurs”, or indirectly by promoting these products to MFIs “e.g. cooperatives or NGOs”.
    • 3. Participate in developing new financial products and/or modifying existing products.
    • 4. In 2016, Eng. Mahmoud has developed the financial service providers market survey in the Agribusiness industry presented to the EU Commission:
      • Survey the Agri-business industry environment.
      • Formulation of business plans, and/or feasibility studies.
      • Building and promoting the business model of potential agricultural enterprises among agribusiness stakeholders to encourage establishing new agri-businesses and provide loans.
      • Qualify loan applications of borrowers, and monitor technical performance throughout establishment and operations of borrowers.