26 June 2022 09:37 AM

Sisi urges finalizing phases of 'Egypt's Future' agricultural project as soon as possible

Saturday، 21 May 2022 - 12:05 PM

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Saturday 21/05/2022 called for finalizing all phases of “Egypt's Future” project for agricultural production as soon as possible.

During his inauguration of the agricultural production project on Cairo-Dabaa road, President Sisi said the State's measures require deep understanding and many studies that would help determine the feasibility and future plans of the project.

Cost of cultivation in "Egypt's Future" project is much higher than anywhere in the Nile Delta, Sisi added.

The President ordered completing phases of “Egypt's Future” project for agricultural production before the end of 2023.

Commenting on a presentation given by Director of "Egypt's Future" project Bahaa el Din el Ghannam, 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.

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, the president added.

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony of “Egypt’s Future” agricultural project, 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, highlighting the infrastructure projects.

He noted that the 'Egypt's Future' agricultural project needs 1,250 megawatts electricity units.

He said the state's interest in developing the infrastructure over the past seven or eight years has secured needed electricity for this important project.

The project aims at adding 2.5 million feddans, representing 25 percent of the currently cultivated lands in Egypt, he said.

Moreover, needed electricity was secured to houses and hospitals that were suffering from repeated power outage, he added.

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. “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, Minister of Agriculture El Sayed el Quseir said implementing mega projects takes a while for completing studies and planning to assess all factors including, for example, the type of soil, crop structure and economic revenues.

He added that the State is moving towards supporting the cultivation of strategic crops, pointing out to the great importance of enhancing and diversifying the country’s agricultural produce to realize food security.

The ministry, supported by the president and with the help of research centers, tends in the coming period to expand the production of good quality and high-yield seeds, Quseir said.

The State is currently able to meet more than 50 percent of demand for the seeds which achieve high productivity, the president said during the inauguration of “Egypt’s Future” agricultural project.

Meanwhile, 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.

The president pointed out 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.

Such a move requires a very high cost to cultivate 60,000 feddans and place them on the production map, Sisi said.

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.

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.

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, Sisi said.

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, he added.

“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, Sisi said.

He called on the agriculture minister to replace 2 million cattle of normal breeds with new ones within two or three years. "I will appreciate such an achievement."

“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,” the minister responded.

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.

The project contributed to achieving a balance in solving the meat crisis and raising the rate of self-sufficiency, he added.

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.

The country is moving through a rapid program to create key markets that can reach 15 within 2022, he added.

Increasing the supply of goods will lead to bringing stability to markets and confronting some traders' exploitation of the current conditions, Sisi said.

The state is keen to regulate product prices and check price hikes and will be vigilantly doing so until the end of the year, he added.

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. 

"Be proud of what Egypt has achieved. We have taken important paths despite the huge aspects of their spending from an economic perspective," Sisi said.

Sisi hailed the role played by the Armed Forces in several fields.

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 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, he added.

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.

"The cultivation of two million feddans costs EGP 160 billion," he added.

Sisi also called on national industrialists to launch a major project to produce spare parts for lifting stations, that have been affected by the global disruption of supply chains.

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, he added.

“We have no choice but to launch such mega projects,” the President stressed. 

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.

The Egyptian citizens are conscious enough to face challenges, he added. 

MENA


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