Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hani Sweilam has met with the Special Representative of the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Daniel Gustafson; the Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative of the FAO for the Near East and North Africa, Abdel Hakim Al-Waer; and the representative of the FAO in Egypt, Nasr Al-Din Haj Al-Amin.
The meeting aimed to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the ministry and the FAO in the field of water, and joint coordination during various international events to put water on the global climate action agenda.
During the meeting, Sweilam referred to the great efforts made by the Egyptian state for improving the process of water management, maximizing the return from the water unit, improving food security and increasing crop productivity in light of the important interdependence between water and food, stressing the need to prioritize the water, agriculture and food sectors within the climate change file in Africa.
He also explained that one of the projects that the ministry is currently working on is the expansion projects in modern irrigation systems according to integrated scientific studies that achieve rationalization of water use, taking into account the impact of modern irrigation on the rest of the elements of the water system, with the transition to modern irrigation systems in sandy lands, sugar cane farms and orchards as a first priority.
The minister pointed out the endeavour to enhance the ministry’s capabilities in the field of monitoring land and water productivity through remote sensing, which contributes to improving agricultural practices and efficient water management.
Sweilam indicated that the FAO is a strategic partner for the ministry in many international events such as the Cairo Water Week and the water events held within the climate conferences.
He further referred to Egypt’s successful efforts during the last period in including water at the heart of global climate action, which was evident during the water activities within the COP27, where water was mentioned during the conference decisions five times (for the first time in the history of climate conferences).