The Ministry of Industry and Trade is coordinating with the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation to develop a date palm factory in the New Valley governorate, according to Minister Tarek Kabil.
Kabil added that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provided funds of $400,000 to implement the programme to fight date palm pests in the governorates of New Valley, Matrouh, and Giza.
Kabil noted that the New Valley governorate alone has about 1.8 million palm trees and produces about 50,000 tonnes of dates annually, so fighting pests should maximise the benefit.
During his meeting with the New Valley governor, the minister said that a small industrial complex in New Valley is currently under construction. The new industrial park will be set up in mid-May.
He pointed out that New Valley has promising investment opportunities in many fields, especially in light of the availability of all the elements and incentives to attract both Egyptian and foreign investors.
Kabil announced that an agreement is being reached with one of the Saudi investors to establish a date palm tissue culture laboratory in New Valley to provide pure cultivars for date planting, which increases the added value of dates produced in the governorate.
The meeting dealt with the importance of maximising the utilisation of the industrial areas available in the governorate, especially that the percentage of its work is not commensurate with the potential and the available resources.
The minister stressed that during the meeting it was agreed that there is a need to withdraw the land from non-serious investors who have acquired land but have not yet established factories. The land is then to be reoffered to other investors.
For his part, governor of New Valley Mohamed El-Zamalot said that there are promising sectors for investment in the governorate, especially in the fields of agriculture, food, solar energy, and mining, in addition to the date palm industry.
El-Zamalot noted that the governorate is going through great efforts to find an entity to help the factories market their products, both within the local market and foreign markets.