Govt: New Toshka contract to be signed early June

Saudi businessman Prince al-Waleed bin Talal will sign a new contract on 7 June for the agricultural lands in Toshka, located in southern Egypt, Egypt's agriculture and land reclamation minister said. 

In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Ayman Farid Abu Hadid said the state will not intervene with any modifications to the contract. He attributed the signing delay to the cabinet being busy with other issues.

In April, the interim cabinet under Prime Minister Essam Sharaf reached a new agreement with bin Talal concerning a land deal the prince had signed during the reign of former President Hosni Mubarak, by which he became the owner of 100,000 acres of land in Toshka.

According to the new contract with the Egyptian government, bin Talal will give up 75,000 acres of the land and keep 10,000 acres. Under the new contract, bin Talal would also be entitled to 15,000 acres for a limited time and be permitted to work the land and keep profits as long as it is not damaged.

Bin Talal’s business representative in Cairo said his employer would not resort to international arbitration, saying the prince prioritizes Egypt’s interests as a basis for any settlement.

On Monday, Abu Hadid had previously announced that his ministry would receive 2 million tons of wheat for farmers, worth of nearly LE4.4 billion.

The minister said that he had agreed with his Sudanese counterpart on creating 100 feddans of joint farmland for research purposes. The land constitutes part of 1.25 million feddans that both states previously agreed to cultivate with wheat, sugar cane, oil crops, and animal production.

The minister added that a delegation from the ministry’s agricultural research unit would visit Sudan to discuss measures for creating five separate farms with a total area of 25,000 feddans, and noted that Egyptian farmers would be able to possess parts of those farms.

Abu Hadid said the joint bid would facilitate commercial exchange between both countries while helping to integrate agricultural and animal production.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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