Agriculture minister El-Sayed El-Quseir (Photo Courtesy of CBC Extra Livestream)
In a speech during an inspection by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at the Kima Ammonia and Urea Complex in Aswan, El-Quseir said the advancement in the sector is in line with the state’s goals for Vision 2030 and its sustainable development goals for enhancing food security.
The progress involves improving nutrition, reducing poverty, especially in rural areas, enhancing competitiveness for exports, and adapting to climate change, he said.
El-Quseir added that it also involves creating job opportunities for youth and women, improving income and living standards and promoting sustainable agriculture.
El-Qusier also highlighted a future vision for fertilisers in the agriculture sector, which have not been modernised since 1980, stressing the strategic importance of meeting the needs of the agriculture sector with various fertilisers and promoting clean and organic agriculture.
The strategy also includes maximising the use of natural resources, providing export quotas and increasing foreign exchange through nitrogenous and phosphate fertilisers, he said.
El-Qusier said several decisions have been taken to ensure continued support for small-scale farmers in light of the current vagaries of the fertiliser market.
The decisions include requiring companies to supply around 55 percent of production under the distribution system supervised by the ministry and raising the price of supplying nitrogenous fertilisers to 4,500 per ton, he said.
On the ministry’s efforts in other sectors, the minister said the state is focusing on sugar cane in Upper Egypt, which sees the highest production, adding that the state has added 15 million seedlings and will increase them to 50 million for additional crop production.
He said the ministry has recently established centres for locust control in agricultural lands, and 25 new centres for milk collection under efforts to support and develop livestock.
The ministry also disbursed compensations estimated at EGP 33 million in Upper Egypt for livestock mortality, he said, adding that it has also zoned eight areas in Upper Egypt to invest in poultry.
On fish stocks, he said the ministry has undertaken several steps to raise fish production through the release of 225 million tilapia fish to the Nile.
Around EGP 2.2 billion in debt has been cancelled for farmers, the minister said, with some 148,000 farmers benefiting from the initiative.