Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi celebrated on Thursday the harvest of 10,000 wheat feddans in the south-western El-Wadi El-Gadid (New Valley) governorate as part of a national project to expand the country’s farmland by reclaiming 1.5 million feddans nationwide, which was inaugurated in late December.
During a televised event attended by Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhi, El-Sisi discussed the significance of a number of ongoing major national projects aimed at improving the country’s infrastructure and serving low-income earners.
“We want Egypt as a real state, a state of institutions, a state of law, but at the moment [we only have] the semblance of a state,” El-Sisi said.
El-Wadi El-Gadid governorate stretches over most of Egypt's Western Desert.
Among the projects initiated by El-Sisi was an effort to double Egypt’s current production of electricity, to increase the freshwater supply by an additional 7 billion cubic metres through desalination stations, and an affordable housing project with new 50,000 housing units for slum residents.
Two large fish farms in Kafr El-Sheikh and Port Said are planned to be opened in August and October respectively, El-Sisi said, adding that the total cost of all the new national projects is estimated at around EGP 1.04 trillion.
During his remarks at the event, the president denounced talk of the Suez Canal’s declining revenues, saying “they are increasing”.
The latest official data from the Suez Canal Authority shows that revenues fell for two consecutive months by $401.4 million in February from $411.8 million in January and $429 million in December last year.
Meanwhile, Egypt's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday it had purchased around 732,000 tonnes of local wheat from farmers since the start of the season in mid-April.
Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is planning to buy 4 million tonnes of wheat from Egyptian farmers.
*1 Feddan roughly equals one acre