The Ministry of Agriculture is aiming to achieve growth rates of up to 4.5% annually, creating approximately 1.6m jobs, increasing agricultural areas and reclaiming more land, according to Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Adel El-Beltagy.
El-Beltagy’s remarks came during the annual ceremony held by the Horticultural Crops Development Association on Monday. A strategy for the development and modernisation of agriculture includes projects to optimise the use of water, develop methods of irrigation, reduce losses, restructure and modernise the agricultural extension system and use new and renewable energy, the minister said.
“One of the projects targets the development of irrigation mechanisms within the agricultural sector through 5m acres in 10 years, which will contribute to the provision of 10bn cubic metres of water,” he said.
The minister added that standards of work are currently being developed within the agriculture sector, starting from the Ministry of Agriculture and the development of legislation and laws regulating the integration of different parts of the sector to become more efficient. He pointed out that the primary role of the Ministry of Agriculture in the next phase will focus on research, agricultural extension and the application of controls and legislation on the sector.
The targeted agricultural development depends on the development of data and legislation, El-Beltagy said, and the agricultural bill and other laws are currently being revised to create cohesion in training, develop human resources and agricultural schools to train young farmers and provide them with the latest skills that meet the needs of the agricultural sector.
The minister stressed the importance of developing a plan to meet the challenges facing agriculture, including climate change, rising energy prices, and the rise in sea levels, through the help of the latest technological innovations. He seeks to benefit from genetic engineering to create agricultural products that are able to withstand these changes, in addition to relying on sources of new and renewable energy to be used in agriculture.