President Sisi inaugurates 2024 harvest season at ‘Future of Egypt’ project

Ahram Online , Monday 13 May 2024

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has inaugurated the harvest season at the “Future of Egypt” Project for Sustainable Agriculture on the Cairo-Dabaa Road.

President Sisi
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurates the 2024 harvest season of the Future of Egypt Project for Sustainable Agriculture, located along Cairo-El-Dabaa Road. Presidency/still image


The president also launched the first phase of the industrial zone in the area for agricultural industries.

The Future of Egypt agricultural project, the first under the broader New Delta Project, covers over 1.05 million feddans.

The New Delta Project, spanning 2.2 million feddans, equivalent to around 25 percent of Egypt's reclaimed and cultivated agricultural lands totaling 9.7 million feddans developed over millennia, is part of Egypt’s efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in strategic crops and generating surplus for export.

Alongside several agricultural projects in Beni Suef, Minya, Sinai, and the Western Desert, it aims to reclaim 4.5 million feddans for cultivation by 2027 - or 45 percent of the nearly nine million feddans cultivated in Egypt.

The projects, implemented by the Future of Egypt for Sustainable Development Authority, have already reclaimed 800,000 feddans across Egypt and provided 2.5 million jobs, according to official data.

Addressing water challenge

The project, which initially utilized underground water for irrigation, now relies on reused agricultural wastewater from the mega El-Hammam treatment plant.

During the inauguration ceremony, President El-Sisi said water represents a "great challenge" for Egypt, demanding advanced irrigation and agricultural mechanisms to save water.

He added that Egypt has spent EGP 190 billion to build water treatment plants for agriculture, adding more water resources to the country's fixed share of the Nile Water.

However, he affirmed that the high salinity in treated agricultural wastewater makes it effective only for some crops.

"We have made significant investments [in the agricultural sector]" stated El-Sisi. "We have no other choice. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to cultivate."

Private sector invited

The president renewed the invitation for the private sector to participate in these agricultural projects, provided that they abide by conservative irrigation methods.

"Every drop of water with a suitable degree of salinity for all crops is a huge loss when it is wasted on crops that we can plant with a smaller amount of water," El-Sisi said.

He emphasized the importance of the private sector adopting water-conserving methods, including centre-pivot irrigation, in light of limited water resources.

He explained that while some of these methods may not be effective for certain crops like wheat, they can be employed on a larger scale for other crops that can be exported, allowing the state to purchase wheat in return.

"In the end, a drop of available water can produce the best, largest, and most valuable yield, enabling us to sell them and buy what we need," he stated.

El-Sisi expressed that achieving self-sufficiency in wheat is a desired goal "if only there were sufficient water resources to support it."

The agricultural sector constitutes 15 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs around a quarter of the Egyptian workforce.

In 2023, agricultural exports brought $9 billion to the country, according to official data.

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