The implementation of a field irrigation project will provide a 7%-10% increase to Egypt’s cultivated land, according to Minister of Agriculture Adel El-Beltagy.
The project has been prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture to irrigate 5m acres and reclaim 1m acres as part of a national project for land reclamation.
In a press statement on Sunday, El-Beltagy said the increase will occur by providing 0.5m acres of land once used in open canals to be used in the expansion of cultivated areas.
He added that this project would provide about 10bn cubic metres of water per year to be exploited in the reclamation and cultivation of at least 300,000 acres of new land.
El-Beltagy stressed the importance of rationing water usage in agriculture and other sectors to serve the national land reclamation project.
The project’s funder, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Cairo, said in January that the project achieved some field irrigation developments in the governorates El-Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, Assiut, Sohag and Qena. The project’s fund amounted to approximately $50m (about EGP 400m)
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi assigned the Ministry of Agriculture to start urgent operational plans to accelerate the implementation of field irrigation development in the old lands of Delta and the Nile Valley.
This comes in light of the presidential demand to ration irrigation water usage and provide needed water to implement targets in the reclamation plan, targeting 4m cultivatable acres. Egypt currently faces a shortage of irrigation water due to increased demand for domestic use.