FILE: Egypt's Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Ezzeddin Abu Steit
CAIRO - 23 December 2018: Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation will set a national program to increase vegetable cultivation and decrease its import, Head of Agricultural Research Centre Mohamed Soliman said.
During a Sunday press conference held at the Ministry of Agriculture by Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Ezzedine Abu Steit, Soliman added that the ministry plays a great role in rationalizing water use through developing agricultural methods and creating new agricultural varieties.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Abu Steit said during the press conference that the biggest date plantation the government is currently working on will make Egypt the second biggest date producer across the world.
The minister added that Egypt has 15 million palm trees, but the plantation, which President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi talked about on Saturday, aims to cultivate additional 2.5 million palm trees using modern agricultural methods.
On Saturday, President Sisi said that Egypt is currently working on the biggest date plantation.
Sisi’s remarks came on the sidelines of the inauguration of the National Greenhouses Project in the 10th of Ramadan city.
Presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady clarified that the national project to build 100,000 greenhouses will allow off-season crops production. Furthermore, the project will provide many job opportunities, enhance the quality of exported products, and increase food production.
Former Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Kabil said in April Egypt’s exports of dates increased 70 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, reaching 30,000 tons at a value of $29.4 million.
He added that the average price per ton increased during the first quarter of 2018 to $980, compared to $824 in the same period of 2017.
Kabil said that dates have been exported to 42 countries, with Indonesia, Morocco, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Thailand topping the list. He added that new markets in Africa and Asia have been opened to receive Egyptian dates.
Egypt is the world’s largest dates' producer, capturing 18 percent of the global dates' production and 23 percent of the Arab dates production, Kabil said.
The minister stated that the ministry is giving due concern to the dates industry as it is considered one of the promising sectors to achieve economic growth, boost exports and create new jobs.