Egypt and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed a $62 million agreement to establish a project to strengthen the capacity of adaptation in desert environments.
The project will be established in Marsa Matrouh in order to provide new jobs and a promising investment environment for the development of the governorate.
The agreement was signed by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Head of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Gilbert Houngbo, on the sidelines of the minister’s visit to Rome and in the presence of Ambassador of Egypt to Rome Hesham Badr.
Nasr affirmed that the project is a new axis for the development of agricultural investments in Egypt, especially in light of supporting small investors and start-ups and empowering young people and innovative projects in line with the ultimate goal of sustainability and inclusive growth. Nasr explained that the project is an example of the strategic partnership with the IFAD in the priority governorates.
She referred that this project comes within the framework of the State’s plans to redirect investments to the neediest areas and to increase the area of reclaimed land, which will positively affect the living standards of the needy families and help them adapt to the harsh climate conditions in the project area.The project improves the productive capacities and helps communities by enhancing the productive capacity of newly reclaimed land, thus helping women and children of poor families improve their food, social and economic files.
It also integrates with the national project to reclaim 1.5 million feddans and the economic return of this project, she added.
The minister explained that the number of beneficiaries of the project reaches about 450,000 people. as it aims at reducing the water deficit by 20 percent, increasing the area of arable land by 19,000 feddans, paving 200 km of rural roads, studying the engineering designs for drainage and irrigation in Siwa Oasis, improving the quality of crops and increasing productivity of about 90,000 feddans.
It also targets to increase livestock production, support small investors in agriculture, increase the production of newly reclaimed land, and introduce modern technologies to improve the quality of drinking water, strengthen the scientific research of the Desert Research Center, and increase employment opportunities.
“We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with the Egyptian government and the private sector to maximize our contribution to rural women and men, especially young people in Egypt,” Houngbo said, adding “We are keen to support agricultural projects in Egypt in areas most in need.”
He added that the fund has invested $456 million in 13 agricultural projects in Egypt, benefiting 1.2 million families in need. These projects contributed to the development of agriculture, raising the level of incomes of small farmers.