FILE - Egypt exports dates to around 42 countries
CAIRO – 22 December 2018: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced Saturday that Egypt is working on the biggest date plantation that will include around 2,500 million palm trees to produce top quality dates, in light of this, Egypt Today delves into the details of the National Project for Reclamation and Cultivation.
In an effort to ensure decent access to food, the government, hand-in-hand with the private sector, has worked on various initiatives, programs and exhibitions, to ensure that consumers have access to a variety of healthy, well-prices foods.
The National Project for Reclamation and Cultivation of project is the Egyptian government’s latest project aimed at reaching food security and ensuring that the increase in population does not lead to a surge in food prices. By creating an integrated society within green lands after reclamation, Egypt hopes to produce a comprehensive agro-industrial development that will narrow the gap between supply and demand, reduce imports and increase exports.
The project, announced by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in December 2015, aims to reclaim one and a half million acres of desert land, transforming them to inhabitable and agricultural lands. At a cost of LE 33 billion, reclamation of desert lands via technological advancements (desert greening in a man-made manner) will increase farmland in Egypt by 20 percent (from 8 million feddans to 9.5 million feddans). It will also increase Egypt’s populated area from 6 percent to 10 percent.
The project is set to be implemented in three phases across eight governorates: Giza, Minya, Qena, Aswan, The New Valley, Sinai, Ismailia, and Matrouh. The first phase will see the reclamation of 500,000 feddans; while the second phase and third phase will see the reclamation of 490,000 and 510,000 feddans respectively.
One of the projects that aim to achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture is the East Owainat Project in the south west region of the Western Desert. Out of a target 230,000 acres, 110,675 have been reclaimed. The project is expected to serve 100,000 people and create more than 20,000 jobs, decreasing unemployment levels in the region.
The National Project for Reclamation and Cultivation of one million and half Feddans comes as a part of a wider move by Egypt to guarantee cheap, high-quality food for its growing population. Along the same lines and towards the same output, Egypt’s government has also started organizing Supermarket Expos before Ramadan to offer citizens with great deals at a discounted price, as Minister of Supply and Internal Trading Ali Moselhy said during a press conference held on April 3, 2018.
“We are organizing the Expo this year before Ramadan, leaving plenty of time for citizens to be able to benefit from the great deals and the discounted prices,” Moselhy had said at the time.