New Delta: The largest in the history of Egyptian agricultural projects
Work continues on the New Delta megaproject, which is considered the largest in the history of Egyptian agricultural projects, to cultivate over 2.2 million feddans (one feddan equals 4,200 square meters) in a move aimed to boost food security in the Arab world’s most populous country.
Construction has been completed for 35% of the water transmission pipe works and 65% of the open area works.
This artificial river will include 22 kilometers of pipes beneath the ground surface that will transport groundwater, agricultural, and drainage water after treatment at the al-Hammam station, in addition to the river’s open path of 92 kilometers.
The giant project, west of the Nile Delta in Lower Egypt, is part of government plans to create new agricultural and urban communities characterized by modern administrative systems.
The project along the Dabaa Axis on Egypt’s northwest coast will encompass industrial complexes based on agricultural production and provide job opportunities for more than 5 million citizens, according to a study by the Egyptian Center for Thought and Studies.
The 114-kilometer-long artificial river is expected to generate approximately 10 million cubic meters of water.
Read more: Egypt to increase agricultural exports to $3.6 bln
“The New Delta project is the future of Egypt. It will be implemented in two years,” Sisi said in statements during his visit in March 2021 to the Suez Canal Authority’s Maritime Training and Simulation Center in the canal city of Ismailia.
The Egyptian leader said treated agricultural wastewater will be used in cultivating the new lands of the project. “We will retreat our agricultural wastewater to make it fit to international standards and use it in the silos in Dabaa in Egypt’s western region, which has a small population,” he said.
“The New Delta is one of the giant projects that will increase the cultivated area in Egypt by more than 1 million feddans,” said the Minister of Agriculture Al-Sayed Al-Qusair “The new cultivated lands will be planted with strategic crops such as wheat, corn, and vegetables.”
With the new project, the Egyptian government hopes to secure adequate food products for its growing population. “The project basically aims to achieve food security, fulfill the growing needs of the increasing population to foodstuffs and reduce dependence on imports of strategic foodstuffs,” Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly said on March 31.
In January, the Egyptian government unveiled a project dubbed Egypt’s Future for Agricultural Production to cultivate 500,000 feddans on Egypt’s northwest coast.
Egypt imports around 65% of its needs of strategic crops, and these two promising projects can help provide a big share of Egypt’s food needs, according to Nader Noureldeen, professor of soil sciences and water resources at Cairo University.
According to Noureldeen, Egypt is the world’s biggest importer of wheat, the second-largest importer of yellow corn, and the fifth-largest importer of cooking oil. “Egypt also imports 100% of its needs of lentils, 80% of beans, and 32% of sugar,” he said.
Noureldeen added, “Egypt has a big food gap, and these projects could help achieve self-sufficiency of the country’s food needs and reduce by one-third the bill of food imports, which amount to $15 billion annually.”
Egypt’s agricultural sector contributes to the country’s gross domestic product by 14%, representing 28% of job opportunities and 55% of employment in the countryside.
In 2020, Egypt exported 5 million tons of agricultural products, according to Egypt’s Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine of the Agriculture Ministry (CAPQM).
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