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Egypt to Adopt Drought Tolerant Crops to Combat Water Scarcity

August 18, 2023

In an effort to combat high temperatures and water scarcity in Egypt, Egypt and China signed an agreement on Wednesday, 18 August, to collaborate on the adoption of drought and salt-tolerant crops. The signing was announced by Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation in a statement posted to its Facebook page.

The agreement is one component of a three-year action plan for agricultural cooperation between the two nations (2023-2025). The action plan calls for fostering technological transfer and knowledge exchange on agricultural innovation, soil health and management, cutting-edge water technology, organic and biodynamic farming, and the use of ecologically friendly biopesticides to fight pests and plant diseases.

The plan also includes the establishment of a joint agricultural technical committee, a training center to combat desertification as well as a center for hybrid rice cultivation within the Agricultural Research Center to contribute to the development of drought and salinity tolerant hybrid rice varieties.

Egyptian Minister of Agriculture El-Sayed El-Quseir noted that the ministry will continue to cooperate further with China to increase agricultural trade, as a memorandum of understanding will be signed to push for the entry of Egyptian mangoes into the Chinese market in September 2023.

Egypt is facing an annual water deficit and is estimated to be categorized as water scarce by 2025, according to a United Nations report.

During his speech at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) meetings in Sharm El-Sheikh in May of this year, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi stated that drought-related risks in Africa have resulted in losses of more than USD 70 billion (EGP 2,162,475,000,000.00) and that climate change has caused a 34 percent decline in the continent’s agricultural productivity.

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