The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is aiming to support Egypt’s agricultural sector through assisting in the amendment of its regulations in line with the new constitution, FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva said on Saturday.
The statement was made during a meeting between Silva and Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid in Algeria on the sidelines of the tenth meeting between the agriculture ministers of CIHEAM (International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies) member countries.
FAO’s experts will be sent to Egypt to conduct training programmes for workers in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and animal production, a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture said.
The pair also discussed methods of improving the services of Egypt’s Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC) “to better serve farmers”. Earlier in February, Abu Hadid issued a ministerial decree to restructure the PBDAC’s board of directors, which is to be headed by Attia Salem.
During their meeting, Silva invited Abu Hadid to attend the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East, which will be held in Rome from 24 to 28 February, where agriculture ministers and high level officials will meet to discuss food security issues in the region.
Silva called on the minister to give a speech during this conference “to show the world that Egypt is on the democratic track”. He explained that this visit will prove that the Egyptian government is “naturally” performing its role in serving its citizens.
“The minister can also highlight Egypt’s plan in developing the agricultural sector,” Silva added.
Egypt’s plan should detail the needed agricultural investments in each governorate, Silva said, adding that the FAO, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Egyptian officials will meet to examine ways to fund investments.
In an attempt to address one of the hurdles facing the agricultural sector, Abu Hadid announced on 7 February that his ministry will adopt a new strategy for addressing fertiliser shortage in Egypt through securing stocks of fertiliser and monitoring its consumption.
In the 2012/2013 fiscal year, agricultural exports increased by 20% year on year, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said earlier in September, adding that the ministry sought to increase the value of Egyptian agricultural products in the coming months by increasing rates of production.