Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has ordered the government to accelerate the implementation of the national project to develop 4,200 Egyptian villages.
The project is currently in its early stages, covering up to 1,500 villages in the first phase. President Al-Sisi announced that the first phase will be completed within three years, and aims to solve all the problems faced by the targeted areas.
“Egyptian countryside will transform completely. A comprehensive modernisation of facilities is required to keep pace with the development programme that we seek to achieve,” the President added.
Al-Sisi’s remarks came during the inauguration of the Al-Fayrouz Fish Farming project in Port Said governorate.
At 15,000 feddan, the project is considered the largest of its kind in the Middle East. It contributes to the development of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) and the Sinai Peninsula, through establishing industrial and urban complexes. The project provides 10,000 job opportunities in different professions and specialties in this field.
It aims to: bridge the gap between production and consumption; achieve self-sufficiency; reduce imports; increase exports to Arab and European markets; and provide hard currency to support the national economy.
The President emphasised that all the projects implemented by the government are subject to careful studies, with the government working to achieve development and reform in all sectors. He stressed that population growth is one of the most important challenges that Egypt faces in achieving its development requirements.
Regarding the countryside development, Al-Sisi noted that Egypt seeks to treat the wastewater which is dumped into sea or lakes, with the treated water to be reused in new projects across Sinai. He added that a total of 100,000 feddans are ready for agricultural use in Sinai using the treated water.
He also noted that the government will complete the establishment of canals and stations to set up the needed irrigation and electricity networks, with other needs required by the country to be completed by next June.
The President said that the state is making great efforts in all fields. He added that the East Port Said Development project was proposed 15 years ago, but was not implemented due to its high cost.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that the biggest challenge the plan to develop Egyptian villages has faced has not been a lack of funds, but rather that a huge number of projects are being implemented simultaneously.
Madbouly also said that the project’s development is taking place as part of the “A Decent Life” initiative, launched by the President. He added that the Egyptian villages development project, which has seen investments of EGP 500bn, targets 58 million people, with the first phase targeting 143 rural communities.
Moreover, the Prime Minister added that the Egyptian state seeks to improve the quality of life in rural and urban areas. He said that the government is working to raise the efficiency of sanitation and roads in rural areas, as part of the Egyptian villages development project.
Major General Ihab El-Far, Head of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, said that work is underway to establish El-Salam City in the East Port Said region, on an area of 23,000 feddans. He also said that the city includes more than 6,000 housing units, located on the Mediterranean Sea Coast.
Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation ElSayed ElKosayer said that the total funding for the animal production development plan amounted to EGP 4.1bn, and affirmed that the country has achieved 85% self-sufficiency in fish wealth.
ElKosayer also said that Egypt’s fish farming capabilities will be expanded as part of the country’s goals in achieving food security. The minister noted that he expects an increase in the national production of fish due to the new fish farming projects.
He added that Egypt has witnessed an unprecedented renaissance in its agricultural sector over the past six years, to provide all the citizens’ needs for safe, healthy, and sustainable food.
The Minister indicated that in 2020, Egypt reached a 57% self-sufficiency of meat due to the projects to improve livestock.
ElKosayer said that the national project to revive the veal industry in Egypt had contributed to supporting small breeders, and providing job opportunities. He pointed out that the total funding for the project, from its implementation in 2017 to now, amounts to EGP 4.1bn.
The Minister clarified that Egypt now has an inventory of 326 dairy collection centres nationwide. He also said that he expects an increase in the national production of meat and milk after the end of the projects to improve the animal breeds and develop dairy centres.