In Pictures: Egypt’s Flourishing Jasmine Industry May Be One of Its Best Kept Secrets
You won’t imagine the impact of things that you might think simple or trivial. Although you might think that jasmine just looks and smells good, but that is far from the truth. The jasmine industry in Egypt influences the lives of tens of thousands and pulls over six million dollars into the Egyptian economy!
According to the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades (IFEAT), jasmine trade is estimated to pull in some $6.5 million annually for Egypt, providing income to around 50,000 people. It’s estimated that Egypt and India dominate the production of jasmine extract for perfumes, making up around 95 percent of the world’s supply. The heartland of the industry in Egypt is the region of Gharbeya, as it accounts for more than 90% of the whole market.
One of the pioneers of the industry, the Fakhry essential oils factory handles around 70 percent of the region’s floral production. The Factory floor manager Badr Atef told AFP, “Factory owner Ahmed Fakhry was inspired to farm jasmine when, as a young student in the 1960s, he visited the town of Grasse, the birthplace of French perfumes, on the Cote d’Azur. Returning to Egypt, Fakhry introduced his new perfume knowledge and set up commercial jasmine farming and processing.”