As concerns mount about food shortages caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Egypt – the world’s biggest wheat importer – says it is preparing a series of agricultural projects to help curb food imports. and offers fast to the domestic market in a sustainable fashion. The projects, which are part of the Egyptian government’s efforts to improve agricultural production by 2030, have been in development for several years.
Egyptian leaders recently announced that the country is in the process of developing a series of agricultural projects that will increase domestic production and reduce dependence on imports of foreign agricultural products.
At the inauguration of one of the new projects, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that the use of water in increasing production was a major issue, but added that the government had found a solution to the problem.
Al-Sisi said Egypt is getting water from several main sources: some water is coming from wells, while some is coming from agricultural treatment plants that will purify water according to WHO standards. He said that no water for this project is coming from the Nile river.
Project director, Baha El Ghanam, said this would be done in four phases, noting that wheat production is being focused on given the projected international wheat shortage due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
He said Egypt had imported $8 billion worth of wheat, corn and soybeans in 2021, but wanted to reduce imports from agricultural projects being developed and reduce any crisis arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict or COVID-19. will help to do so. He said that wheat cultivation is going to increase from 40,000 acres this year to 120,000 in 2023.
Egyptian political sociologist Said Sadek told the VOA that Egypt “will address the wheat shortage by producing more wheat and diversifying its imports,” but there could be potential problems in 2023 “if Ukraine continues to struggle and climate change.” Affects wheat producing countries.”
Sadek pointed out that some North African countries, such as Algeria, “buy their wheat from Russia,” and “the chances of a shortage are slim.” Morocco, on the other hand, said “climate problems are occurring,” which “could affect production.”
Ahmed Abu Yazeed, a professor at Ain Shams University’s College of Agriculture, told Egyptian TV that the government was “implementing a strategy to develop all the infrastructure for new agricultural projects, including water and electricity.”
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported that the new Daba agricultural project, located between Giza and Alexandria, will increase the cultivation of wheat, potatoes, sunflower oil, beet, among other vegetables.
Atlantic Council Middle East analyst Paul Sullivan said countries such as Egypt could conceivably increase production.
“There is always hope for an increase in agricultural production, but it would be best to have land and water-efficient crops,” he said. “Hybrid varieties that can prosper in hot and dry climates will also help.”
Sullivan argues that the Egyptian government “will do what it can to address any shortfalls, but it cannot keep food inflation at bay given the state of the world’s wheat.” He blames Russia for “preventing wheat from leaving Ukraine and the Black Sea”. [as] The main culprit for further shortage of wheat prices in the world.”