Newly-appointed Egyptian irrigation minister suggests developing drought-resistant crops



Mon, 15 Aug 2022 - 02:17 GMT


Mon, 15 Aug 2022 - 02:17 GMT

Newly-appointed Minister of Irrigation and Water resources Hani Sweilam – Press Photo

Newly-appointed Minister of Irrigation and Water resources Hani Sweilam – Press Photo

CAIRO – 15 August 2022: The newly-appointed minister of irrigation and water resources, Hani Sweilam, held Monday a meeting with senior officials at the ministry to discuss under-progress and future plans.


One of the proposals put forward by Sweilam is joining forces with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation to develop crops that would stand water scarcity, increased salinity, and various forms of climate change.


The minister stressed the necessity of carrying on with introducing drip irrigation nationwide, and with rationalizing the use of freshwater northern Delta, such as the governorates of Beheira, Kafr al-Sheikh, Damietta, and Port Said, to inhibit its depreciation and mixing with seawater.


The ministry revealed in April that drip irrigation had been substituted for flood irrigation across 1.35 million (up from one million) feddans (one feddan equals 4,500 square meters).


The costs of the introduction of such system in agricultural lands are assumed by the farmers, but they are given the option that the ministry pays on their behalf on the condition that they pay back in installments with zero interest.


In an another context, the minister at the time, Mohamed Abdel Aty, had stated earlier in April that almost LE2.7 billion were spent on flood control projects in FY2021/2022.


Those include protection of Alexandria coasts, Citadel of Qaitbay, fence of Montaza Palace, Saqalat area at Abou Qir Bay, coastal area northern Berket Gelyoun at Kafr El Sheikh governorate, western Gamasa at Daqahliyah governorate, coastal area at Kafr El Sheikh governorate, and Marsa Matrouh coasts and bay.


The ministry also dredged Rashid Estuary at the governorates of Kfar El Sheikh and Beheira. 


The ministry is implementing measures aimed at the enhancement of the irrigation system, and coexistence with the negative impact of climate change.


Those steps include the lining and cleaning of canals, transformation into drip irrigation, recycling of wastewater, flood protection structures, and beach protection structures among other projects and initiatives.



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