Mon, 25 Jan 2021 - 11:45 GMT
Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Aaty in the parliament on Jan. 22, 2021 - Youm7
CAIRO – 25 January 2021: The House of Representatives demanded direct subsidies for farmers to transform from flood to drip irrigation while the minister of water resources was listing his work on Monday.
Nine ministries cooperate with the Water Resources Ministry to implement the national plan for water at a cost of L.E. 900 billion, a figure that may double in time, Minister Mohamed Abdel Aaty told the parliament.
Complaints about the lack of water in 2020 were the fewest in 20 years, Abdel Aaty said, adding that the production of a feddan increased from 25% to 30% with a 70%-reduction in water consumption as part of the national drip irrigation project.
Modern irrigation systems have been applied over 4 million feddans, and in areas where such systems will not be used a smart irrigation system has been applied instead, according to the minister.
Some 5,000 sensors manufactured by Military Production factories will be installed in farmlands and will notify farmers on their phones about the time to water crops according to the need of the soil, Abdel Aaty said.
The lack of irrigation water can be alleviated by importing certain crops such as wheat, he said, highlighting that Egypt is one of the most efficient countries in terms of water consumption and recycling.
He continued to say that an integrated plan was set in 2021 to counter the effects of global warming, and protection projects were implemented at a cost of 10 million since 2016. Buildings worth more than L.E. 100 billion have been saved from floods in northern Delta, thanks to early response mechanism, the minister said, adding that 280,000 meters in infringements have been cleared from the bays of the Nile.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and global warming are amongst the most urgent issues before the ministry and concerted efforts by the entire government have to be exerted to face them, Abdel Aaty said, noting that his ministry tackles the technical part of the GERD issue and the Foreign Ministry tackles the political and legal parts.
He asked the parliament to approve a draft law from the ministry on new irrigation systems and water resources, while MPs asked him to lift farmer debts and for a time frame for smart irrigation and depolluting waterways.