The 2018/2022 medium-term plan of sustainable development direct investments of LE 217 billion to the agricultural sector, according to Minister of Planning Hala el-Saeed.
The minister clarified that LE 34.2 billion is allocated to the first year of the plan to activate the general strategic objectives to develop the agricultural and irrigation sector.
Saeed added that the strategic objectives are concerned with reaching the maximum economic effectiveness of allocating and using land and water resources, ensuring the growth of agricultural output by about 3.6 percent per year, achieving high levels of food security of strategic commodities, and strengthening the competitiveness of agricultural products in the world’s markets.
She added that it will also provide job opportunities and raise the standard of living in rural areas, as well as going towards environmentally friendly organic farming and safe use of pesticides to improve the quality of agricultural products.
According to the planning minister, the investments will be directed to implement supportive programs for the agriculture sector, including the expansion of the area of agricultural land, and mechanization of the system of agricultural tenure, where LE 87.5 million is allocated for the completion the project of the mechanization system.
She said that the programs also include building a database of holders and providing audited data to help follow the agricultural development programs, rationalization of water consumption and development of waterways.
The agricultural sector provides livelihoods for more than 70 percent of the rural population and its exports exceed 15 percent of Egypt’s total exports, she added.
The minister said earlier that the medium-term plan of sustainable development aims to increase net foreign direct investment (FDI) to $11 billion in 2018/2019 and to gradually escalate to about $20 billion in 2021/2022 from $7.9 billion in 2017/2018.
The minister stated that the plan targets achieving a high growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP), reaching 5.8 percent in the first year of the plan 2018/2019, and to gradually rise to 8 percent in the plan’s last year 2021/2022, with an increase per capita of real GDP at an average of more than 3 percent in the first year of the plan to record 6 percent in the last year of it.
Egypt's growth rate for 2017/2018 fiscal year hit its highest level in 10 years as it recorded 5.3 percent against 4.2 percent in the year before.
Saeed added that it aims to provide about 750,000 job opportunities in 2018/2019 by developing the absorptive capacity of the labor market to gradually increase and provide 870,000 opportunities in 2021/2022.
The objectives of the medium-term sustainable development plan also include raising the savings rate to about 11 percent in 2018/2019, gradually increasing to about 23 percent by the end of the plan and increasing the investment rate from about 16.9 percent of GDP in 2017/2018 to 18 percent in the first year of the plan, and 25.6 percent in the last year, she said.