Sat, 21 May 2022 - 09:56 GMT
Sat, 21 May 2022 - 09:56 GMT
CAIRO – 21 May 2022: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi attended a ceremony on Saturday to inaugurate Egypt's 'Future Project for Agricultural Production' at Dabaa-Rod El Farag road.
Egypt's 'Future Project for Agricultural Production' comprises more than a million feddans, which represents around 50 percent of the New Delta agricultural project, Bahaa El-Ghannam, the director of the project said during the ceremony.
The first phase of the project has been implemented over the past four years and comprises 350,000 feddans, Ghannam said.
He noted that 700,000 feddans will be already reclaimed within the project during this year.
The project will comprise 350,000 feddans cultivated by wheat by 2024, which will produce 1 million tons of the strategic crop.
Egypt's imports of wheat, corn and soybeans stood at $8 billion in 2021, Ghannam said.
During the ceremony, President Sisi urged intensifying efforts within the framework of the project to be fully implemented by 2023.
The national agricultural projects being implemented at a "very high" cost seek to provide job opportunities, including in the neediest governorates of Beni Suef and Minya, besides securing agricultural crops, Sisi said.
“I am in a challenge to meet my people and nation’s needs,” Sisi said, adding: “It is a pledge that I adhere to and seek to fulfill.”
Responding to critics of state's sequence of national priorities and infrastructure projects, Sisi affirmed the need that people understand the projects within a scientific and good planning context.
“Please, do not sit with your legs crossed and speak about topics that you are not well-informed of,” the president said.
He added that people could not have endured the lack of electricity, road networks, and good food production over the past years if all state resources had been allocated for education, despite it being undoubtedly a very important issue.
The 'Future Project for Agricultural Production’ is part of the New Delta agricultural project which is implemented over an area of 2.2 million feddans with the aim of securing strategic and other crops.
President Sisi also urged charity organizations to support farmers by providing them with high-quality livestock to double their income and boost production.
Achieving self-sufficiency of wheat
Last month, Sisi made an inspection tour in Toshka agricultural lands in the South Valley of Upper Egypt’s Aswan early to witnesses the start of the wheat harvest season.
Sisi then gave the green light for the opening of some wheat silos via video in several governorates and watched a documentary on Egypt’s achievements to secure the wheat needed for local consumption.
Given its expected economic returns and significance in achieving food security for Egyptian people, the Toshka project in Upper Egypt’s Aswan was revived by Sisi in 2014 to become a giant development project after two decades of futility.
The Toshka project, located in the South Valley in Aswan and believed to be the largest of its type in the region, aims at achieve self-sufficiency in wheat, a basic commodity that has been highly affected by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The crisis has affected the wheat supply globally, especially as the two warring countries are one of the largest wheat exporters worldwide. Egypt has depended over the past years on Russia and Ukraine for about 80 percent of its wheat imports, according to officials.
Egypt has cultivated 217,700 feddans of agricultural lands as part of the project that produce around 550,000 tons of wheat annually, according to the documentary.
Egypt has also established seven new wheat silos with a total storage capacity of 420,000 tons in Arab Al-Olaikat area in Qalyubia, Bani Salamah in Giza, New Salhia city in Sharqia, and Abu Suwir in Ismailia as well as in the areas of San El-Hagar, El-Hammam, and Kharga.
During the inauguration ceremony, Egypt's Supply Minister Ali Moselhi said Egypt has been able to build resilience to external shocks during the inflation the resulted from the pandemic as well as the Ukrainian-Russian crisis thanks to relevant measures in this regard.
Despite the international shocks, Egypt has strategic wheat reserves that can last until January next year, he said.
Thanks to the project of establishing wheat silos since 2014, storage capacity has increased to 3.4 million tons of wheat from 1.2 million tons in 2014, Moselhi said.