The government is putting a multi-billion-pound cultivation plan in action in an effort to increase wheat production, the agriculture minister said Thursday.
Agriculture and Land Cultivation Minister Salah Mohamed Abdel Momen and Water Resources Minister Mohamed Bahaa Eddin are scheduled to meet next week to hammer out the details of a national project to work towards wheat self-sufficiency at an investment cost of nearly LE15 billion.
The campaign will be launched next week on 2,000 fields in various governorates to educate farmers about wheat cultivation and its importance, Abdel Momen said.
Most of Egypt’s wheat is imported from the US, Russia and Australia, and the country has been vulnerable to fluctuations in price due to drought, contamination and other supply issues.
"The project aims to plant 3 million acres of wheat in Toshka, East Owaynat, central Sinai and the west Delta [areas]," Abdel Momen told Al-Masry Al-Youm, adding that the ministry plans to increase wheat fields to 4 million acres over the next five years.
The cultivation project will have a permanent irrigation source and other plans are also in the works for the New Valley and Delta regions, he said.
Prime Minister Hesham Qandil is also expected to announce the formation of a trustees' council for the project that includes public figures and international agriculture experts.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm