President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurates Egypt's Future Project for Agricultural Production
Saturday، 21 May 2022 - 12:00 AM
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Saturday 21/05/2022 inaugurated “Egypt's Future” project for agricultural production on Cairo-Dabaa road.
The mega national project aims to maximize production opportunities and provide high-quality agricultural products at suitable prices to citizen.
It is also meant to bridge the gap between production and importation and achieve food security and self-sufficiency of strategic commodities.
The inauguration ceremony is attended by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, Defense and Military Production Minister Mohamed Zaki and a number of ministers and senior state officials.
The ceremony began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran in the voice of the reciter Sherif El-Sayed Khalil.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi watched a documentary entitled "Egypt’s Future … towards sustainable agriculture", during the inauguration of Egypt's Future” project for agricultural production.
The documentary displayed that the project is the nucleus of the New Delta agriculture project, pointing out that the political leadership places the task of realizing national food security on its top priorities.
It showed that the project started by reclaiming 200,000 feddans to provide agricultural production at affordable prices for citizens and fill the gap between the production and imports.
It added that work to reclaim 150,000 more feddans was completed, bringing the total area of reclaimed lands in the project to 350,000 feddans.
The documentary, also, pointed out that water to the New Delta project is being provided through Egypt’s Future canal which stretches over an area of 41 kilometers, noting that total reclaimed lands within the project will exceed 1 million feddans.
Director of "Egypt's Future" project for agricultural production Bahaa el Ghannam pointed out that strenuous and painstaking efforts were exerted to fulfill the project, which is making new additions to the achievements made by the state every day.
Ghannam added that the mega agricultural project is mainly contributing to producing all crops needed in the country.
Commenting on a presentation given by Director of "Egypt's Future" project Bahaa el Din el Ghannam, Sisi said the State's measures require deep understanding and many studies that would help determine the feasibility and future plans of the project, adding that that cost of cultivation in "Egypt's Future" project is much higher than anywhere in the Nile Delta.
Sisi affirmed the importance of expediting the completion of the project's third phase before the end of 2023, instead of the original date in 2024, due to the conditions surrounding the country as a result of the global economic crisis.
The president added that it is important to complete this project before 2023 in parallel with the projects already being implemented in Toshka, Beni Suef and Minya due to the current difficult circumstances.
President Sisi said the costs of such projects in the desert are much higher than anywhere in the old Nile Delta because reclamation here is taking place deep in the desert, in a way that differs from cultivation in the areas located along the banks of the River Nile.
Sisi said that the country is now paying dearly for all the years of neglect that allowed for encroachments to increase on its precious agricultural lands along the banks of the Nile and in the old Nile Delta. These disastrous violations have diminished the nation’s wealth of rich arable lands, he added, noting that just three years ago the estimated cost of reclaiming one million feddans was EGP 200-250 billion, expecting the cost to be much higher now given the current global economic crisis.
President Sisi said the past ten years saw a population growth of about 20 million, wondering whether the State’s development process could accommodate that.
The president said he is not only speaking about the population growth but also the State’s planning to achieve self-sufficiency, a matter that makes the State has no other choice but to implement national projects to meet the growing needs of its burgeoning population especially after the current global crisis has made it clearly obvious how import-dependent countries suffer every time global production networks get strained.
Sisi called for the swift completion of the canal supplying water to the project.
President Sisi said the target of his speech during inaugurations or follow-up of projects is clarifying matters and highlighting the infrastructure projects.
He noted that the 'Egypt's Future' agricultural project needs 1,250 megawatt electricity units, pointing out that the state's interest in developing the infrastructure over the past seven or eight years has secured needed electricity for this important project.
Sisi added that the project aims at adding 2.5 million feddans, representing 25 percent of the currently cultivated lands in Egypt.
Moreover, he said that needed electricity was secured to houses and hospitals that were suffering from repeated power outage.
As for calls for re-setting priorities, he said "We are not talking about luxury, but about important factors. We cannot speak about an important project like 'Egypt's Future' agricultural project and Toshka project, while neglecting electricity and road projects."
He referred to upgrading the efficiency of the Dabaa road, calling for verifying the authenticity of information circulated about mega projects.
He also cited ongoing efforts to develop water and electricity networks in the countryside under "Decent Life" project whose estimated cost stood 800-900 billion pounds and can hit one trillion in view of current rising prices.
He said "What was achieved in Egypt over the past 400-500 years in cultivating the Delta, we want to achieve it in the desert within four or five years. Therefore, what is being achieved is indeed a great thing."
As for calls for focusing on education instead of spending all this money on infrastructure projects, Sisi said education is a top priority, but the state could not allocate all its resources to education, asserting that “People would never bear having shabby infrastructure and lack of services.”
He said what is being achieved in the state is the outcome of work of specialized committees of experts that lay down comprehensive visions and achieve set goals.
President Sisi said the projects being implemented were reviewed by a committee of university professors and statesmen.
He stressed that he is keen to always listen to the ideas of others to be well informed about all aspects of any file he handles, adding that it is impossible to go forward and achieve progress in any project without standing on a solid basis.
He added that data about all the country’s projects, policies and programs is available in details on the government and presidency websites.
President Sisi said that all of these projects have been implemented despite the fact that the State is targeted by terrorism and extremism.
Responding to calls for cultivating a million feddans of wheat, the president noted that work is under way in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation to cultivate new disease- and pest-free land with an aim to produce good seeds, asserting the State’s keenness to produce other products alongside wheat.
Meanwhile, the Minister ofAgriculture and Land Reclamation, El Sayyed el Quseir, underlined the importance of "Toshka el Kheir" project in Upper Egypt, asserting that it represents a model of success in the new republic with regard to the file of food security and attainment of the sustainable development goals under Egypt Vision 2030.
He said that one of the most important goals of the 2030 strategy is maintaining available economic resources and developing them, adding that the state seeks to realize comprehensive development while adapting to climate change.
He said his ministry seeks to increase competitiveness of the agricultural exports in addition to injecting more investments into the agricultural sector and supporting livestock, poultry and fishing production.
He referred to the most important projects as including the giant New Delta project, the Toshka el Kheir project in the south valley, the project for developing north and central Sinai and the Egyptian Countryside Development Project.
The minister said work is going on regularly in all these projects and the bodies concerned are doing their best to realize the aspired goals.
He underlined the importance of achieving self-sufficiency of strategic agricultural commodities and food security in addition to the making optimal use of natural resources; namely land and water.
He added that agricultural production could increase through depending on greenhouses.
He underlined the importance of reclaiming lands in deserts within the framework of world agreements on climate change, combating desertification and enhancing bio-diversity.
He said the world is losing millions of hectares of lands due to desertification, drought and climate change and this affects negatively on jobs and threatens food security.
The Minister said The New Delta project is meant to cultivate 2.2 million feddans, noting that the current stage is meant to cultivate one million feddans.
He said the target of this project is cultivating lands equivalent to about 30 percent of the old Nil Delta area, referring to the strategic location of the project which is close to land and maritime ports and airports.
The Minister pointed out that the project is meant to promote food security and link agriculture projects to trade, services and transformative industries.
He expected the project to contribute to upping local production of strategic crops, cereals and vegetables by 10 to 15 percent of the current agricultural production in addition to boosting the state's exports by 15 percent.
He added that the state can achieve self-sufficiency in many crops, noting that Egypt exports poultry to several countries as well as milk products.
He referred to the national veal project in addition to the expansion in livestock production and sugar crops.
He noted that the canal sugar factory will be inaugurated soon at USD 1 billion investments with its production capacity expected to reach more than 900,000 tons of sugar annually.
The Minister highlighted that this project is a private sector investment that represents a model of the state's support for private sector ventures.
He also referred to expansion in wheat and corn cultivation as well as oil and cotton crops.
The President commented saying that the irrigation and cultivation of land in the Nile Delta do not need water-lifting stations or canals while the land being cultivated as part of this project required lifting stations, therefore two stations for lifting water to more than 80 meters were set up to be merged with a 40-kilometer-long canal.
Sisi said such a move requires a very high cost to cultivate 60,000 feddans and place them on the production map.
The president added that there is a gap between the increasing population growth and the current economic growth rates, noting that the State is working to bridge this gap.
The president, also, said that State is currently able to meet more than 50 percent of demand for the seeds which achieve high productivity.
For his part, the agriculture minister said more than 60 percent of demand for high-yield seeds were met last year.
Speaking about wheat crops, the minister said the percentage of meeting seed needs was lower than that of demand.
In this regard, he noted that after Sisi’s directives for boosting the production of high-quality seeds, his ministry decided to benefit from Egypt’s Future project, among others, to cultivate more of them to supply farmers with all their needs.
President Sisi said greenhouses do not only contribute to upping the feddan's productivity, but also help reducing irrigation water consumption.
He reviewed the cost of establishing green houses, stressing that the state has to find solutions on the ground.
He accentuated that he is keen to follow up what is presented on media and the issues raised in the community.
President Sisi asserted that there is a challenge to meet the needs of the state and citizens.
He called for pinpointing Egyptian companies that are ready to cultivate 15,000 feddans in greenhouses within the framework of ongoing efforts to plant 300,000 feddans under 'Egypt's Future' agricultural project.
He noted that the private sector managed over the past years to prove its great ability to efficiently manage its work.
He noted that establishing greenhouse projects in Fayyoum will secure jobs for 30,000 people all year round.
Commenting on a speech delivered by Agriculture Minister El Sayyed el Quseir, the president called for securing suitable fodder for 2 million head of cattle raised by breeders for their milk production to increase to 20 to 30 kilograms daily.
The president also called for improving living conditions of the Egyptian people through a program for improving cattle breeds.
He urged sensitizing farmers about the importance of selecting good cattle breeds that consume the same amount of fodder and have high productivity of milk.
Sisi said despite the constant cost of breeding, the new breeds produce up to 20 or 25 kilograms of milk compared to 7 or 8 kilograms of the old breeds.
He added that the increase can be used in the dried dairy industry by establishing new factories for this purpose, to provide these products to children and citizens at reasonable prices.
Sisi said: “We can also provide NGOs with cattle of the new breeds with high milk production to be distributed to the beneficiaries of their activities and the "Takaful and Karama" initiative, which could change the lives of one million families and double their income by distributing 2 million heads of cattle.”
He called on the agriculture minister to replace 2 million cattle of normal breeds with new ones within two or three years, saying: "I will appreciate such an achievement."
The minister responded saying: “President Sisi has been following up the agriculture ministry's efforts for a while. We have launched a plan to improve the breeds in the past two years under the president's directives.”
On the national veal project, the minister said its total cost over the past two years exceeded EGP 7 billion, with about 440,000 beneficiaries.
He added that the project contributed to achieving a balance in solving the meat crisis and raising the rate of self-sufficiency.
For his part, Supply Minister Ali el Moselhi asserted that the Egyptian state, under directives of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, has increased its reserves of strategic commodities to ensure that they can last for six months instead of three.
He said the state secured all needed funds for achieving this goal within the framework of efforts to confront the challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the Ukrainian crisis.
He said "what we are facing today is part of the unprecedented challenges facing the world", asserting that “Food security is a top priority and the state is focused on securing commodities, ensuring their availability in the local market and monitoring prices.”
He reviewed the strategic projects implemented by the state to maintain reserves of strategic commodities, referring to the national silos project.
He noted that Egypt has silos that can store up to 3.4 million tons and seeks to establish more silos for the storage capacity to reach 5 million tons.
He said there was a cooking oil crisis over lack of warehouses so the state established more warehouses in Dekheila, Damietta and Alexandria in addition to those of the public and private sectors.
He added that Egypt has now a cooking oil storage capacity of up to 750,000 tons.
He pointed out that the state has also contracted for establishing four strategic warehouses this year on an area of 10 feddans.
As for wheat, the minister also said Egypt has 4.1 million tons of wheat reserves and an additional 3 million tons will be secured from the local harvest.
He said the state will secure wheat stocks that will last its needs until January 2023.
As for sugar, he said people are afraid of the repetition of the 2017 sugar crisis during which the sugar kilo price stood at EGP 20, but Egypt managed to maintain stable sugar prices with the kilo price recording EGP 12 pounds.
He added also that Egypt is well-known of having self-sufficiency of rice and there is ongoing collaboration with research centers to continue planting rice while rationalizing water consumption.
As for meat, he said Egypt is suffering a gap in livestock production and it makes up for this through importing livestock from Sudan.
As for poultry, Egypt has almost self-sufficiency of poultry, but in some seasons it imports some shipments to cover all its needs, he said.
He added that the state started establishing multi-purpose logistic and commercial zones in addition to increasing the ministry's outlets which have reached 7,000 nationwide.
Concerning digital transformation, he said the ministry's facilities are linked by a digital network in order to have daily reports about stored and distributed commodities and prices.
The supply minister said there was no rise in vegetable prices, except for the tomatoes whose prices rose for a period of 10 days then returned to normal.
He attributed the success in ending the problem of the tomatoes to the production of greenhouses which supplied the domestic market with its needs.
He reviewed the state's silos project, noting that without the state's national silos project, the state would have never been able to up its strategic commodities storage capacity from three months to six.
He voiced hope that the future stage would witness the addition of one million tons of wheat to the Egyptian harvest.
He hailed the political vision that preceded the coronavirus and the Ukrainian crises to build the basic economic structure in Egypt.
He noted that these mega projects need a new generation that understands the modern agricultural mechanization systems that should spread nationwide.
As for the president’s directives to establish new factories in Qaha and Edfu, he said these projects will be ready next year in collaboration with the National Service Projects Organization.
Commenting on the speech of Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali el Moselhi, President Sisi said that he directed the government and governorates to mull exploiting vacant areas in various districts to establish new markets to help control prices.
He added that the country is moving through a rapid program to create key markets that can reach 15 within 2022.
Sisi said that increasing the supply of goods will lead to bringing stability to markets and confronting some traders' exploitation of the current conditions.
He added that the state is keen to regulate product prices and check price hikes and will be vigilantly doing so until the end of the year.
Commenting on a speech by Supply Minister Ali el Moselhi, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said he asked three years ago for establishing new factories and directed to focus on Qaha and Edfu factories.
He called for focusing on production to solve the problem of any lack of commodities in the market.
Speaking to Head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority Ehab El Far, Sisi underlined the importance of the water venture for Egypt's Future agricultural project.
He noted that there are different sources of water, including wells and treated water.
He referred to the inauguration of the Mahsama station and Bahr el Baqar water treatment station, noting that another station will be opened by the end of the year.
Sisi said "Be proud of what Egypt has achieved. We have taken important paths despite the huge aspects of their spending from an economic perspective."
Sisi hailed the role played by the Armed Forces in several fields.
Sisi said the Armed Forces did not stop at fighting terrorism, but also fought backwardness and deterioration, as they supported the state, along with investors and businessmen; to implement major national projects.
Sisi, also, said the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces has supervised thousands of projects worth billions or trillions of Egyptian pounds until they are completed in a country whose population increases by at least two million people annually, which means an increase of 20 million people within 7 or 10 years.
However, President Sisi warned that if development rates do not keep pace with the population increase in Egypt; the gap will not be bridged.
The President urged media outlets to publish the map of agricultural projects being implemented in Egypt so that citizens can realize the size and costs of those projects.
Sisi noted that "The cultivation of two million feddans costs EGP 160 billion."
Sisi also called on national industrialists to launch a major project to produce spare parts for lifting stations, which have been affected by the global disruption of supply chains.
He added that such a project would stabilize a permanent market for these products needed in Future Egypt, Toshka and Sinai, where agricultural projects have been launched at EGP 500 billion so far.
The President stressed that “We have no choice but to launch such mega projects.”
For his part, Head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority Ehab El Far said that "Egypt Future" project for agricultural production is one of the mega national projects carried out in the country.
El Far said the project includes amendments to the courses of canals and digging much more.
He added the water course in the project extends to about 170 kilometers including 148 open canals, in addition to about 22 kilometers of pipes extended to areas cultivated with sugar beet.
El Far said work on all water lifting stations will be finalized in September as the implementation rate in the western sector of the canals reached 98 percent while operations in the eastern sector have been delayed to probe requests by some residents, whose lands have been expropriated for public use, for compensations estimated at EGP 2.5 billion.
Commenting on the speech of Major General Ihab El-Far, head of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, President El-Sisi thanked all those in charge of the "Egypt's Future" project for agricultural production, wishing the project's phases to be completed before 2024.
Sisi urged finalizing all phases of the 'Egypt's Future' agricultural project before 2024.
He stressed the state's keenness to benefit from and preserve Egypt's water rights. He pointed out that Egypt's share of the River Nile water has not changed for 100 years despite its population growth.
Sisi also affirmed the need of maintaining awareness to preserve the Egyptian state.
Sisi urged journalists, media professionals and social media influencers to pay close attention to the information they spread to avoid unintentionally publishing false information or reports that harm the country.
He added that the Egyptian citizens are conscious enough to face challenges.
After that, President Sisi toured the Egypt's Future Project for Agricultural Production, during which he was briefed on the development phases, plans and goals of the project, in addition to the agriculture production of some crops, including the "Rosetta" potato, beets and wheat.