President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived on Wednesday in Farafra Oasis located in the Egypt’s south-western governorate Al-Wadi Al-Gadid (New Valley) to inaugurate the first phase of the national project to expand the country’s farmland by reclaiming 1.5 million feddans nationwide, state news agency MENA reported.
“I have agreed with the government that the possession of land should be made easier with direct ownership contracts to avert the state’s normal bureaucracy,” El-Sisi said at the conference.
He added that the state has prepared the total size of the land, taking into account utilities and services that the people will need. The government and banks will also provide them with credit facilities with interest rates below six percent.
The first phase includes the reclamation of 10,000 feddans in Sahl Baraka area. The area that has been targeted to be farmed in the New Valley governorate comprises of 280,000 feddans.
“Egypt has 8 billion cubic metres of well water, of which the project will need around 2 billion cubic metres,” Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Hossam El-Moghazi said at the televised inauguration conference.
In November, the cabinet approved the establishment of a company with a capital of LE15 billion (around $2 billion) to manage the megaproject.
"This project will expand Egypt's prospective agricultural land by 20 percent, from 8 million to 9.5 million feddans," Ismail said in a press statement earlier this month.