Egypt and China sign deal to develop drought and salt-tolerant crops

Ahram Online , Wednesday 16 Aug 2023

Egypt and China signed a deal to collaborate on developing drought and salt-tolerant crops to overcome water scarcity and salinity in Egypt as the country confronts the major impacts of climate change.

Egypt, China
Egypt s Minister of Agriculture and Reclamation El-Sayed El-Quseir (right) and his Chinese counterpart Tang Renjian,(left) during the signing of the three-year action plan on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of the ministry.


The deal was signed on Wednesday by Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation El-Sayed El-Quseir and his Chinese counterpart Tang Renjian, according to a statement by the ministry. 

The deal is part of a three-year action plan for agricultural cooperation (2023-2025) between the two countries.

The plan includes boosting dialogue and exchanging expertise on agricultural innovation, including modern water-guided technologies, organic and biodynamic farming, and combating pests and plant diseases using environmentally friendly biopesticides.

It also includes exchanging expertise in hybrid rice, corn, and soybean cultivation.

In addition, it will include collaborating in the field of animal production and agricultural mechanization, training and capacity building through a joint agricultural technical committee.

Overcoming scarcity

Egypt's water resources include 55.5 billion cubic metres coming from the Nile, 1.3 billion cubic metres from rainfall and 2.4 billion cubic metres from underground sources.

The country has a water deficit of 120 billion cubic metres, which amounts to 55 percent of its water needs.

It overcomes water scarcity by importing 54 percent of its virtual water through water embedded in imported commodities.

Egypt also reuses 42 percent of its renewable water as per its National Water Resources Plan of 2017-37.

Global food security

During the signing ceremony, El-Quseir praised the role of the Chinese side in supporting global food security, especially in African and Arab countries, amid global crises, including the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. 

The Egyptian minister also praised ongoing coordination with the Chinese embassy in Cairo to increase agricultural trade exchange between the two countries.

El-Quseir announced that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed soon to export Egyptian mangoes to China.

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