Egypt, EU discuss ways of boosting cooperation in agriculture

Ahram Online , Friday 3 Jun 2022

Egypt's Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Badr Abdel-Atti discussed on Friday with EU Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski means of enhancing cooperation between Egypt and EU in the fields of agriculture and water management and treatment.

Egypt, EU
An Egyptian delegation headed by Egypt's Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Badr Abdel-Atti (R) during a meeting with EU Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski (Photo Courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

 

Egypt pays great attention for both sectors to tackle the current challenges related to food security and achieving sustainable development for agricultural development projects, a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Abdel-Atti said during Friday's meeting that Cairo looks forward to cooperating with the EU in providing training and capacity building programmes for young farmers in rural areas, as well as cooperating in agricultural ventures, developing agricultural technology, and exchanging technical expertise to develop agricultural systems.

The meeting also touched on the country's Hayah Karima Initiative, meaning Decent Life in English, which comprises a series of countryside-focused national infrastructure projects.

The Egyptian ambassador said the project targets developing the neediest villages in Egypt as regard irrigation and agriculture methods, health, education and infrastructure, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the meeting also tackled the repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis in the field of food security in Egypt and Africa, especially in light of the low quantities supplied of foodstuffs, including wheat, and their rising prices.

The conflict — which is raging for its fourth month — has led to a disruption of the Black Sea’s supply chains of fertilisers, wheat, and other commodities from both countries, sending global prices soaring.

Egypt, one of the world’s biggest wheat importers, received 80 percent of its wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine last year due to its high quality and competitive pricing and the two countries’ geographical proximity.

Russia and Ukraine — respectively the largest and fifth-largest wheat exporters in the world — together account for 29% of international annual sales.

Since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Egypt has scrambled to find viable import alternatives to secure the strategic commodity, a key strategic commodity for the production of loaves of bread – a staple of everyday Egyptian diet and cuisine for tens of millions of citizens.

The country is leaning on augmenting its local wheat production to tackle the crisis as well as diversifying its import sources from a new list of countries, at the top of which is India, which has exempted Egypt from its recent wheat export ban.

On Wednesday, General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), Egypt's grains buyer, announced signing a contract to purchase 4650,000 tons of wheat from Russia, Bulgaria and Romania in what is reportedly the country’s largest wheat purchase since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Furthermore, the European Commissioner expressed his aspiration to visit Egypt to attend the upcoming UN climate change conference, COP27, scheduled in November in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

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