Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Atty and Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Elsayed Elkosayer have met to discuss the country’s switch to modern irrigation systems.
The discussions took place as the ministers chaired a meeting of the committee formed to study all projects to convert from flood irrigation to modern irrigation.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from: the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE); the Ministries of Water Resources and Irrigation, Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Interior, Finance; and Local Development; the National Bank of Egypt (NBE); and the Agriculture Bank of Egypt (ABE).
“This national project aims to transform 3.70 million feddan from flood irrigation to modern irrigation systems within 3 years,” Abdel Atty said.
He pointed to the great positive returns provided by these systems, whether at the national or farmers’ levels.
The project contributed to conserving the use of water, increasing crop quality and productivity, and reducing operating costs. It has also contributed to increasing farm profitability through efficient use of labour, energy and water.
Abdel Atty stressed the importance of having a clear mechanism for implementing the project, and setting indicators for pilot experiments that are implemented to measure the success of the project.
He highlighted the importance of an inventory of all old lands that are to be converted from flood irrigation to modern irrigation systems, and periodic follow-up of the database.
This would take advantage of the national industry in providing the requirements of this important project, in a way that contributes to the sustainability of the project and the benefit of all.
During the meeting, ElKosayer stated that all aspects of the system were reviewed, including mechanisms for its activation, and the relationship between associations and farmers. This included the development of the appropriate financing model for the project.
The advantages and benefits that accrue to farmers from modernising irrigation and switching from the flood irrigation system to modern irrigation methods were also reviewed, especially as it contributes to increasing crop productivity by 30-40%.