By Reem Hosam El-Din
A ministerial meeting took place on Monday to discuss the reclamation of 1.5m acres as a first phase of the project to reclaim and develop a total of 4m acres.
The meeting took place between Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and the ministers of planning and administrative reform; water resources and irrigation; and agriculture and land reclamation.
During the meeting, a proposal was presented to establish a company to manage the project. Moreover, the role of different bodies contributing to the company’s work was also discussed, according to cabinet spokesman Hossam El-Kawish.
Ismail stressed the importance of studying all details involving the project’s implementation in an integrated manner to maximise its revenues, El-Kawish said.
The project will see the increase of Egypt’s cultivated areas and create new urban and developmental communities, Ismail said. He added that it is essential for the project to be undertaken by a company that follows-up on the implementation of all its phases, according to the work agenda.
Ismail asserted the importance of commencing with the procedures for the company’s establishment, whilst deciding on contributors of capital, whether public or private sector, or national banks, and the size of their shares.
The completion of fiscal studies, methods and conditions of land offering to youth and investors were also discussed during the meeting.
Ismail alluded to the importance of penning a comprehensive agenda with all aspects of executive and technical procedures of each area within the project. This would outline its implementation in terms of agricultural, demographical and service activities.
Coordination between the ministries of Water Resources and Irrigation, and Agriculture and Land Reclamation is necessary for determining the types of crops to be cultivated, Ismail said. He added that this would depend on the availability, kind and amount of water needed, as well as lands geographical distribution.
Ismail pointed out that speeding up the process of exploratory wells drilling in the west of Minya governorate is crucial. These will provide a final study of the type of water and guaranteed aquifers, as well as determining proper cultivations for the type of soil and water.
A map of aquifers in Egypt is important to benefit from in the implementation of the project, according to Ismail.