Making the desert turn green, one tree at a time, at Tamr Henna.

A desert development project of 1000 acres, considered one of the pioneer desert plantation projects in the Sinai desert, that aims to sustain the desert biodiversity by enhancing the growth of palm and olive trees that have a high economic value, with the establishment of a sustainable eco-village development. In addition, we aim to help combat local poverty by providing industrial and eco-tourism job possibilities.

Tamr Henna constitutes only one part of our three-part eco-city development at Ras Matarma. Planned for the future are two other linked projects: the Badawia eco-lodge and Ras Matarma downtown area. The creation of this eco-city will provide sustainable living opportunities and encourage eco-tourism.

What are the goals of Tamr Henna?

1. Sustainable agriculture and use of biodiversity
Tamr Henna encourages the growth of palm and olive trees thus providing food and shelter to humans, birds and animals. It recognizes that humans are an integral component of the ecosystem. Immigrating birds have started building their nests in some trees; this encourages bird watchers and nature lovers to visit our eco-village establishment.

Picking 100% organic dates.

2. Local organic food production
Our trees now provide an annual plentiful crop of olives and dates. All products have been bio dynamically planted and treated so are more healthy. We have started a pickling project for the olives: these are packaged and sold through the Royal Group for Organic Products.

3. Sustainable economics
The project is self sustainable as the life expectancy of the trees we have planted is over 1000 years. Each year more crops are available, and more products are produced in our pickling factory. More jobs are therefore created, and so the production is expected to flourish.

We employ many local people at both Tamr Henna and Set El Hossn.

4. Poverty reduction
We have provided over 100 jobs to local people (including the native Bedouins of Sinai, and many women), primarily in the planting of 300 acres of the desert. Our research group and our small olive factory have also provided jobs. As we expect a yearly growth in the crop quantity, we anticipate a yearly need of extra workers, thus we hope to help reduce local unemployment. We encourage female empowerment through training, education, and jobs, and are always looking at ways to provide training courses for our staff, to improve their skills and knowledge.

We welcome researchers to come and use our unique space.

5. Research
Tamr Henna research group encourages team members, students and volunteers. It is an ideal place to research: agricultural procedures, migrating birds and renewable energy including solar and wind energy.

What can Tamr Henna offer you?

The opportunity to experience desert farming and fieldwork. Get involved.

What does the future hold for Tamr Henna?

Phase 1: completed 2000-2010

  • Plant 300 acres of olive and palm trees using biological methods.
  • Dig nine wells to irrigate the project, four of them superficial and five deep (all the wells are connected by piping systems to give better irrigation stability).
  • Apply permaculture techniques using EM and compost.

Phase 2: 2010-2015

  • Plant another 250 acres of olive and palm trees and dig another four wells.
  • Establish an olive refinery for olive oil production.
  • Start rearing animals.
  • Form a desert park for desert plants and animals.
  • Development of cultural product school for rural women and children.
  • Begin factories for compost and EM.

Phase 3: 2015-2020

  • Plant another 250 acres of olive trees thus reaching 800 acres planted.
  • Enlarge the pickling project and the the refinery scale.
  • Make a factory for soap and cosmetic products of olive oil.
  • Enhance the rearing of animals to include: camels, Arab horses, wolf dogs, goats and sheep.
  • Develop a fish pond.

Phase 4: 2020-2025

  • Plant the remainder of the land, thus reaching 1000 acres.
  • Market the different products.
  • Zoo formation.
  • Develop a theatre for folkloric dances.
  • Make a desert plant incubatory and research center.
  • Establish an incubatory and research centre for various medical herbal plants.

Where is Tamr Henna?

Based near Ras Matarma, on the Sinai peninsular in Egypt, on the road between Suez and El Tor/Sharm el Sheikh.