CAIRO – 5 October 2020: The pandemic of new Coronavirus (COVID-19) affirmed that the agriculture sector is a vital field that easily adapts the changes that could affect the environment, said Egyptian Minister of Agriculture Al-Sayyed Al-Qasir in a speech at a video conference organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The Minister reviewed Egypt’s agricultural development projects in cooperation with IFAD, saying that a total of 13 projects have been funded by the IFAD at a cost of $830 million, including 10 completed projects and three ongoing ones, according to a statement issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture on Monday. The ongoing projects are Promoting Resilience in Desert Environments (PRIDE), On-farm Irrigation Development Project in Oldlands, and
Sustainable Agriculture Investments and Livelihoods Project.
He also discussed the state’s efforts of using developed systems of irrigation to maximize the benefits of rationalizing water, besides using the technology and digitization in the rural communities. Qasir stated that the country is working on establishing a center of dairy production.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, the IFAD president, and IFAD representative in Egypt Dina Saleh.
In March 2020, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued Resolution No. 486 of 2029 approving the financing agreement to the PRIDE project. The Fund provides to Egypt, pursuant to this agreement, a loan amounting to €53.2 million, and a grant of €860,000 euros. The agreement was signed in Rome on Feb. 18, 2019.
In mitigation of the effects of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) on the rural areas around the globe to maintain the sustainable production and food system, IFAD President announced in a Q&A session organized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation as part of a Covid-19 professional development program run in association with IFAD in May 2020 that the Fund adopted a four-level response strategy.
Firstly, it is working on repurposing the ongoing projects in 70 countries upon their requests to face the crisis. Secondly, it offered some countries to use IFAD’s unspent allocations for coronavirus-related issues.
Thirdly, the United Nations organization has launched the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility with $40 million as an additional fund for the small farmers. Fourthly, IFAD has received requests of debt deferment, clarified Dr. Houngbo, noting that the organization is working on debt deferment in cooperation with other concerned financial institutions.
Additional reporting by Samar Samir