Banna and Bardi during the meeting - File photo
CAIRO - 29July 2017: Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Abdel el-Moneim el-Banna discussed on Saturday the implementation of a number of projects with Felichelong Bardi, Director of the Italian Cooperation Office for Development at the Italian Embassy in Cairo, to raise the efficiency and quality of Egyptian agricultural products and crops to export them to Europe.
Means of agricultural cooperation between the two countries were also discussed during the meeting.
Both Sides stressed the importance of activating a green trade system, in coordination with the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry, in which Italy will act as the starting point for the Egyptian exports of vegetables and fruits to Europe through Trieste port.
This step will be important to increase demand on Egyptian agricultural exports and open new markets in Europe.
In a bid to improve prospects of Egyptian exports, the meeting discussed cooperation to implement a number of joint projects. Atop of these projects is the production of tomato sauce starting from planting and manufacturing operations, to recycling tomatoes refuse to use as animal feed.
As Egypt excels in cultivating dates, another project is to promote dates production and extract syrup out of dates, which will boost another industry and create more job opportunities for youth.
A series of bans on Egyptian agricultural products by some countries recently have negatively affected the reputation and distorted the image of Egyptian exports of vegetables and fruits.
A temporary ban on Egyptian strawberry was imposed this July by Saudi Arabia due to pesticide residues. United Arab Emirates also banned imports of peppers from Egypt a month earlier.
Egypt will not face big losses as a result of the ban, as the exporting season for strawberries ended on April 10, said Abdel Hamid al-Demerdash, head of Egypt's Agriculture Export Council.
He added that strawberries represent from 5-10 percent of the country's total agricultural exports.