Egypt is implementing huge projects in the field of agricultural development, to increase the agricultural area and expand productivity to save the country from a shortage of strategic crops.
The government is implementing the Sharq Al-Awainat project, which is the second largest agricultural development project implemented in the south of the valley in southwestern Egypt (after the Toshka project). From the Western Desert between latitudes 22.00-23.3 N and longitudes 27.55-29.3 E in an area of 16,000 km2, 365 km south of Dakhla Oasis in the New Valley Governorate, 500 km from Lake Nasser; Where the soil is rich and free of pollutants, which makes it ideal, and its area is 528 thousand acres divided into plots, half of which is distributed to agricultural companies that produce a variety of crops estimated at 3 million tons annually.
The project aims to add about 230,000 acres to the agricultural area, which is fully irrigated from the waters of the underground reservoir in the region. The project applies the method of clean agriculture in order to provide agricultural production free of pollutants to be exported abroad. The number of companies allocated to lands in the region is 16, all of which have started implementation.
The most important crops of the project
The most important crops grown in the region are “wheat – barley – vegetables – potatoes – peanuts – fodder crops – cantaloupe – garlic”, as well as medicinal plants (canola – cumin – mint).
As well as horticultural crops (mangoes – guavas – oranges – lemons, palm trees – figs), and 6 million windbreak tree seedlings were provided in order to establish a fence to prevent sand encroachment.
Fiber crops such as cotton, fodder crops (alfalfa, fodder beans, sorghum, hashish of Sudan), grain crops (wheat and sorghum), legume crops (lentils and soybeans), oil crops (peanuts and sesame), vegetable crops, And medicinal plants (hibiscus – cumin – anise – licorice – marjoram), horticultural crops (dry and semi-dry dates, dried figs, pomegranates and citrus fruits).
The investment companies in East Al-Awainat area aim to work in the agricultural and animal fields, and contribute to the production of large quantities of meat for the local market, and there is the largest Egyptian ostrich farm in the region. Implementation of the grain silos project with a capacity of 60 thousand tons at a cost of 120 million pounds.
animal production projects
The Ministry of Agriculture was keen to promote livestock in the New Valley, especially the East Al-Awainat area, as it is an area free of environmental pollution and is one of the best areas for breeding and improving breeds. Therefore, the Horticultural Services Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture established an animal production farm in partnership with the Australian side, with a capacity of 5,000 heads attached to it, 3 fodder manufacturing units. Australian mixture calves were imported, and fattening heads were also imported from Germany, in addition to an old animal production station located in the region with a herd. Of the cows are a Friesian mixture, a herd of sheep, and a herd of camels.
Major General Ehab Saber, head of the Veterinary Services Authority at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the ministry has a major role in following up on large development projects in the East Al-Awainat area. As the farms of the production sector in the region, which are located on an area of 37 thousand feddans, include open crops: maize and palm trees, in addition to farms for animal production.
He stressed the importance of improving performance and raising efficiency to increase productivity, with the necessity of using modern systems and applying scientific research related to increasing productivity and improving breeds.
Adding 500 thousand feddans to the agricultural area
Dr. Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of Planning, stated that the plan for the year 2022/2023 aims to increase the agricultural area by about half a million acres within the scope of horizontal expansion projects, especially the Future of Egypt and the New Delta project on the Dabaa axis in the northwest coast, the Toshka development project south of the New Valley, and the East Owainat project. in the southwestern part of the Western Sahara.
She added that the main goal is to increase self-reliance in Egyptian agriculture to provide food security. Therefore, the 2022/2023 plan is keen to monitor and follow up developments in the productivity of the main crops, and track the rates of improvement in the degree of self-sufficiency thereof, according to the objectives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, in the language of In the numbers, it is intended to raise the self-sufficiency rates of wheat from 45% in 2020 to 65% by 2025, and of yellow corn from 24% to 32% during the same period, and of local beans from 30% to about 80%, and of lentils from 12 % to 16%, from oil crops from 3% to 10%, from red meat from 57% to 65%, and from fish from 82% to 85%.
The most important services in the project
Studies on water resources have proven the existence of a huge underground reservoir that can be exploited within the limits of safety for a period of 100 years. The salinity ranges between 200-700 ppm. Therefore, it is between excellent and very good for irrigation. Several studies were also conducted on land resources on an area of 3.30 million acres. These studies validate an area of 1.1 million acres, which is considered one of the best arable lands.
The state has established a solar energy farm with a total area of 200 acres to test and evaluate the use of renewable energy sources in the East Al Owainat region. The General Authority for Construction Projects and Agricultural Development and the National Authority for Remote Sensing have assessed the environmental risks of the continuous movement of sand dunes and faults.
Most of the soil is located within the sandy and loamy lands, and it is considered one of the best lands suitable for cultivation. The developed irrigation system is applied in this region with its various types (sprinkler irrigation – drip irrigation), by digging wells to exploit the groundwater reserve.
The state provided many services in the region. Where the local unit was established in East Al Owainat, located in Al Ain village, and includes the following services: “a health unit, a police point, an agricultural unit, a veterinary unit, 2 fuel stations and a warehouse, a bakery, a TV reception station, the Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit, a youth center, a mosque, and a gas station.” Drinking water, sewage station, petroleum materials station, central, social development association, 3 ambulance stations on the road, sifting station and seed examination.
field of air transport
Landing lanes (widowing) have been expanded and lengthened, and the airport has been lit at night to receive large aircraft for export directly from East Owainat to all countries of the world. RT