The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has signed a cooperation protocol worth EGP 37m with the Ministry of Social Solidarity that will go towards funding 2,400 development projects in Upper Egypt. The planned projects will be implemented by the comprehensive development projects authority, affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture.
ElSayed ElKosayer, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, said the protocol aims to improve the living standard of citizens in the poorest and neediest areas of Upper Egypt.
The development activities will come in the form of micro-projects and integrated small service projects that serve the targeted population segments of these regions.
ElKosayer explained that his ministry’s role is to provide technical support, qualify project owners nominated by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, and provide guidance to them. The ministry will also enable the participants to acquire management and operating skills.
This would happen via a delegation contract between the Ministry of Social Solidarity and the comprehensive development projects authority, with the ministry providing funding. In turn, the authority will handle consideration of the beneficiaries and their capabilities, and then nominate projects that are appropriate for their circumstances.
The implementation and management of the project will take place through a coordination committee set up between the ministry and the authority.
Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Kabbaj noted that the partnership is in line with her ministry’s keenness to invest in people. The partnership also serves the ministry’s direction in moving from social protection to development and economic empowerment.
She stressed that this protocol focuses on supporting small farmers and small producers in the countryside. A total of 67% of the recipients of cash support programmes are from rural areas, with rural women making up 75% of the cash support card recipients.
She emphasised that the cooperation between the two ministries will take place through the Nasser Social Bank, which represents the Ministry of Social Solidarity’s economic arm. Those who obtain the facilitated loans will have bank accounts opened for them to ensure electronic transfers of monthly instalments can be made. This move towards e-finance mechanisms is in line with the Egyptian state’s trend towards financial inclusion.
El-Kabbaj pointed out that the protocol includes setting an integrated plan of action for the development of families and regions in need. This will take place through preparing studies, implementing agreed actions and projects, and providing financial and technical support necessary for the implementation and follow-up of these programmes and projects.
Support will also be provided for marketing the products of these projects, which leaves a positive impact on the level of living of individuals in these areas.