Sun, 03 Apr 2022 - 02:23 GMT
Sun, 03 Apr 2022 - 02:23 GMT
Meeting of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi with a number of ministers on cotton. April 3, 2022. Press Photo
CAIRO – 3 April 2022: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi held a meeting Sunday to follow up on the results of the experimental growing of short-staple cotton on reclaimed lands, directing the government to prepare a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the experience to study the viability of expanding its cultivation in the future.
The president convened with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Minister of Public Enterprise Hisham Tawfik, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Al Sayed al-Qusair, and General Manager of the Armed Forces' National Service Projects Organization.
The experience took place in New Valley's Sharq Al Owaynat so as the meeting covered the results of the analysis of the soil, water, and climate in the area as well as the ways of procuring seeds and harvest devices.
Care is given to short-staple cotton because it is highly demanded in the market, which makes growing it locally to fulfill factories' needs essential for reducing imports, and hence, demand on foreign currencies.
On another level, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is being implemented in Egypt, and is executed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the Egyptian Cotton Research Institute, Modern Nile Cotton, and Almatex went into effect in the 2020.
The initiative is under the framework of The Egyptian Cotton Project aimed at improving its quality and marketing, and its pilot was launched in February 2019. The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation declared that the initiative would begin in Damietta and Kafr Al Sheikh governorates.
The BCI is designed "to support the Egyptian Cotton branding as part of a renewed drive to increase product sustainability, improve working conditions along the supply chain, and support cotton growers and relevant institutions," as indicated on UNIDO's website. The initiative consists of capacity-building efforts, and environment-friendly practices.
There is another initiative called the Egyptian Cotton Project and it is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. The program is implemented by UNIDO in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation as well as with local and international textile private sector stakeholders. The project is part of the "Cotton for life" CSR initiative by Filmar Group.
Chairman of the Egyptian Cotton Research Institute Hisham Mosaad had stated that the institute has a plan that focuses on improving cotton farms, and that in 2019, it assisted farmers to adopt the best cultivation practices. Those include water efficiency, and limited use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Mosaad explained that BCI is an international initiative based in Geneva and London, and that it has 21 participant states, including China, United States, Turkey, Pakistan, and Mozambique. He added that 2 million farmers are part of the initiative producing 5.1 million tons of cotton composing 19 percent of the world's production.
The initiative is sponsored by a number of international brands, and its importance to Egypt is rooted in paving a parallel way for Egyptian exports of cotton as those brands require the production of cotton in line with the values of the BCI.