Mahmoud Eissa, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade, said that a comprehensive strategy to develop food and agricultural industries is currently being finalised. The strategy is in a similar vein to a group of Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade strategies to develop the Egyptian engineering and textiles sectors, which included mechanisms for implementation.
The strategy includes a comprehensive vision to grow the food industries sector within the next ten years to increase food products exports and to increase the sector’s contribution to GDP. In addition, the plan calls for the government to form a council to develop agricultural industries and to develop policies to grow the sector with the involvement of all interested government and non-governmental bodies.
Eissa spoke about the strategy during his meeting with members of the Chamber of Food Industries of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), which included professors and experts in the field of food production and agriculture as well as representatives from the FEI. He stressed that the plan seeks to connect scientific research to production in the vital fields of food production and agriculture, saying that food industries must draw upon the expertise of specialists as well as utilize new technology.
According to Eissa, the strategy will focus on developing Egyptian food industries that enjoy a comparative advantage in the market for exports. He cited vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, artichokes, dates, as well as herbs and spices as products that Egypt is in an adventitious position to export to European markets.
The strategy will also strive to modernise food production industries, strengthening the regulatory framework of the sector and improving its ability to make decisions based on data. The government will also work to more efficiently utilise foreign grants for Egyptian food industries, to promote the practice of contract farming, to improve agricultural and industrial zoning, and to make water consumption more efficient.
In addition, the strategy will draw upon the expertise of all interested government agencies, such as the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.
The strategy begins with a number of suggestions, including developing date and olive production by providing the factories and production facilities needed to meet domestic demand and to increase the sector’s ability to export products.
The strategy also includes plans to expand training programmes for workers in the food industries sector and to promote Egyptian products in international and local trade expos.