The Egyptian authorities plans to implement a megaproject to domesticate over 1 million feddans (one feddan equals 4,200 sq. meters), in a move aimed to spice up meals safety within the Arab world’s most populous nation.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held a gathering on March 28 to debate the implementation of the challenge dubbed the New Delta. According to a presidential assertion, the large challenge, west of the Nile Delta in Lower Egypt, is a part of authorities plans to create new agricultural and concrete communities characterised by fashionable administrative programs.
Presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady mentioned the challenge alongside the Dabaa Axis on Egypt’s northwest coast will embody industrial complexes based mostly on agricultural manufacturing and create hundreds of recent jobs.
“The New Delta project is the future of Egypt. It will be implemented in two years,” Sisi mentioned in statements throughout his go to to the Suez Canal Authority’s Maritime Training and Simulation Center within the canal metropolis of Ismailia. The go to was a part of the Egyptian celebration of refloating the large container ship Ever Given, which ran aground within the Suez Canal on March 23.
The Egyptian chief mentioned handled agricultural wastewater can be utilized in cultivating the brand new lands of the challenge. “We will retreat our agricultural wastewater to make it fit to international standards and use it in the silos in Dabaa in Egypt’s western region, which has a small population,” he mentioned.
A rustic with a inhabitants of greater than 100 million individuals, Egypt has had cultivated land of 10.three million feddans by 2019, in accordance with the state statistics company CAPMAS.
“The New Delta is one of the giant projects that will increase the cultivated area in Egypt by more than 1 million feddans,” Minister of Agriculture Al-Sayed Al-Qusair informed the native Sada Al-Balad TV. “The new cultivated lands will be planted with strategic crops such as wheat, corn and vegetables.”
With the brand new challenge, the Egyptian authorities hopes to safe enough meals merchandise for its rising inhabitants. “The project basically aims to achieve food security, fulfill the growing needs of the increasing population to foodstuffs and reduce dependence on imports of strategic foodstuffs,” Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly mentioned on March 31.
In January, the Egyptian authorities unveiled a challenge dubbed Egypt’s Future for Agricultural Production to domesticate 500,000 feddans on Egypt’s northwest coast. Authorities say the challenge goals to offer high-quality agricultural merchandise at affordable costs, bridge the hole within the native market between manufacturing and imports, and supply international forex for the nationwide financial system.
Speaking to Al-Monitor over the cellphone, Nader Noureldeen, professor of soil sciences and water sources at Cairo University, believes the 2 tasks will assist bridge the meals hole in Egypt.
“Egypt imports around 65% of its needs of strategic crops, and these two promising projects can help provide a big share of Egypt’s food needs,” he mentioned.
According to Noureldeen, Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat, the second-largest importer of yellow corn and the fifth-largest importer of cooking oil. “Egypt also imports 100% of its needs of lentil, 80% of beans and 32% of sugar,” he mentioned.
Noureldeen added, “Egypt has a big food gap, and these projects could help achieve self-sufficiency of the country’s food needs and reduce by one-third the bill of food imports, which amount to $15 billion annually.”
With the completion of the challenge, the Egyptian authorities hopes to extend its agricultural exports. “The New Delta project is close to population centers and represents a great opportunity through which we can increase the Egyptian exports due to the region’s proximity to the main ports on the Mediterranean Sea,” mentioned Mohamed al-Qersh, a spokesperson for the Agriculture Ministry.
He mentioned the New Delta challenge will create hundreds of jobs for Egyptian youths. “We are talking about more than 5 million job opportunities, not only in the field of agricultural production but also small and medium enterprises that serve youths and contribute to creating job opportunities for them, which will benefit the Egyptian state in general,” he added.
Egypt’s agricultural sector contributes to the nation’s gross home product by 14%, representing 28% of job alternatives and 55% of employment within the countryside.
In 2020, Egypt exported 5 million tons of agricultural merchandise, in accordance with the Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine of the Agriculture Ministry.
Sayed Khalifa, the top of the Farmers Union, the unbiased guild of Egypt’s farmers, mentioned meals safety is a significant safety subject for the Egyptian authorities.
“Since he came to power, the Sisi administration has embarked on a series of national projects with a view to achieving food self-sufficiency whether in terms of agricultural expansion, silo cultivation, animal production or fish farming,” Khalifa informed Al-Monitor over the cellphone.
He mentioned the brand new lands within the New Delta challenge will largely be allotted for the cultivation of oil crops. “The location of the new project is unique given its proximity to main roads, which will guarantee an easy access of the agricultural products to the local market and to export any surplus via the Port of Alexandria or airports.”
Khalifa mentioned the Egyptian authorities is constructing two wastewater therapy crops, every with a capability of 6 million cubic meters/day to safe sufficient water for the cultivation of the brand new lands on the northwest coast.
He continued, “The two plants will give a major boost to Egypt’s efforts to expand in the implementation of agricultural projects in light of the limited water resources in Egypt.”