CAIRO – 2 December 2018: The size of wheat cultivated areas increased to 1.5 million feddans at the beginning of this year's winter season as there is a target to reach 3.4 million feddans, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The ministry told press on Saturday that subsidized fertilizers are provided to farmers cultivating wheat, and that it is running awareness campaigns to encourage more wheat cultivation.
The ministry has also launched inspection campaigns on vegetable crops, especially tomato and potato crops, to follow up on productivity, provide needed guidelines and instructions, and avoid the repercussions of climate change.
A population of over 100 million with a median age of 24.8 years leaves Egypt in dire need to ensure food security for its young, ever-growing population.
In an effort to ensure decent access to food, the government, hand-in-hand with the private sector, has worked on various initiatives, programs and exhibitions, to ensure that consumers have access to a variety of healthy, well-prices foods.
The National Project for Reclamation and Cultivation of project is the Egyptian government’s latest project aimed at reaching food security and ensuring that the increase in population does not lead to a surge in food prices. By creating an integrated society within green lands after reclamation, Egypt hopes to produce a comprehensive agro-industrial development that will narrow the gap between supply and demand, reduce imports and increase exports.
The project, announced by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in December 2015, aims to reclaim one and a half million acres of desert land, transforming them to inhabitable and agricultural lands. At a cost of LE 33 billion, reclamation of desert lands via technological advancements (desert greening in a man-made manner) will increase farmland in Egypt by 20% (from 8 million feddans to 9.5 million feddans). It will also increase Egypt’s populated area from 6% to 10%.
The project is set to be implemented in three phases across eight governorates: Giza, Minya, Qena, Aswan, The New Valley, Sinai, Ismailia, and Matrouh. The first phase will see the reclamation of 500,000 feddans; while the second phase and third phase will see the reclamation of 490,000 and 510,000 feddans respectively.
One of the projects that aim to achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture is the East Owainat Project in the south west region of the Western Desert. Out of a target 230,000 acres, 110,675 have been reclaimed. The project is expected to serve 100,000 people and create more than 20,000 jobs, decreasing unemployment levels in the region.
The National Project for Reclamation and Cultivation of one million and half Feddans comes as a part of a wider move by Egypt to guarantee cheap, high-quality food for its growing population. Along the same lines and towards the same output, Egypt’s government has also started organizing Supermarket Expos before Ramadan to offer citizens with great deals at a discounted price, as Minister of Supply and Internal Trading Ali Moselhy said during a press conference held on April 3, 2018.
“We are organizing the Expo this year before Ramadan, leaving plenty of time for citizens to be able to benefit from the great deals and the discounted prices,” Moselhy had said at the time.