Minister: Egypt lost 700,000 feddans to illegal construction

Egypt has lost 700,000 feddans over the past 20 years due to illegal construction on cultivable lands in the Delta region and the Nile Valley, according to Amin Abaza, Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. He claimed the annual loss stands at 30,000 feddans.

Speaking on Abaza's behalf at a conference co-organized by the ministry and the French embassy in Cairo, head of the ministry’s Research and Development Council Adel al-Beltagy announced the launch of a Franco-Egyptian project on geographic information systems in the field of agriculture.

Abaza said the joint scheme will help detect overlap between Mediterranean waters and underground fresh waters in the northern Delta, in an attempt to alleviate the negative impact of climate change in these areas. The project will also facilitate the use of satellite maps to determine the area of cultivable land and scope of grain cultivation.

The plan, said Abaza, will ensure the accuracy of data and conformity with the state’s plans for expansion in the cultivation of wheat, maize, and fodder. It will also enable the state to estimate the scale of urban expansion.    

The minister mentioned the ministry's goal of gradually increasing farmers' incomes until 2030 by mandating prices for strategic crops that exceed free market rates. Other aid to be provided to farmers, based on the plan, includes pesticides, fertilizers, and seeds.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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