EGYPT- President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has inaugurated the first phase of Egypt’s expansive agricultural development project, geared towards enhancing the nation’s food security and reducing dependency on imports.

Dubbed ‘the Future of Egypt project,’ the project is overseen by the state’s Future of Egypt Authority and aims to reclaim approximately 1.8 million hectares of land by 2030.

It encompasses modernizing irrigation systems, amplifying agricultural production, and fostering self-sufficiency in key commodities.

At the ceremonial launch coinciding with the commencement of the 2024 wheat harvest season, Colonel Bahaa El Ghanam, executive director of the authority, outlined the ambitious objectives.

These include replacing imports of two million tonnes of wheat, 180,000 tonnes of corn, and 360,000 tonnes of sugar annually, thereby saving an estimated US$3.7 billion in foreign currency.

Additionally, a target was set to escalate Egypt’s agricultural exports by 20 to 25 per cent over the next five years.

As part of the project, 24-grain silos with a combined storage capacity of more than 100,000 tonnes have already been constructed by China’s Famsun Group and will begin operating for this harvest season.

The silos are equipped with drying units to minimise post-harvest losses, which can reach 15 to 20 per cent due to insufficient storage in Egypt where grain is mostly left out to dry in the sun.

During the ceremony, Mr El Sisi also emphasised the need for efficient water management. “We need to make use of every drop of water at our disposal. We need to modernise irrigation methods,” he said.

Against the backdrop of potential water scarcity stemming from external factors like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, El Sisi urged citizens to adhere to water usage restrictions while the government invests in alternative water sources such as desalination plants and groundwater wells.

Meanwhile, Egypt has been intensifying efforts to ramp up domestic wheat and corn production by the year 2025/2026 to enhance food security and reduce dependence on imports.

According to the government, the goal is to increase wheat production by 53% and corn production by 56% by the 2025/2026 period, aiming to substantially reduce dependency on foreign markets.

For all the latest grains industry news from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our weekly NEWSLETTERS, follow us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.