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MALR and FAO sign a protocol to update Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy 2030

24/02/2019

Cairo, Egypt - The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed today a technical cooperation protocol to update the Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy 2030, which will be funded through the FAO Technical Cooperation Program (TCP). The protocol includes preparing a Medium and short-term Plan of Action, as well as mechanisms for implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The TCP will also include workshop and training courses to raise and build government capacities to formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate the Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy 2030.

H.E. Dr. Ezzeldin Aboustit, Minister of Agriculture and Land reclamation, and Mr. Hussein Gadain, FAO Representative in Egypt, signed the protocol at the Ministry of Agriculture and Land reclamation premises, with the presence of Mr. Abdessalam OuldAhmed, Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, Dr. Saad Nassar, Advisor to the minister, Dr. Mohamed Abdel Nabi, Head of economics affairs department, and Dr. Hesham Allam, supervisor of the foreign agriculture relations.

“The Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy 2030 needs to be reviewed in light of the recent economic and social changes, given the increasing interest in digital agriculture and climate change impacts. The updating process includes skills development and capacity building through workshops and training courses targeting agricultural workers and research institutions, especially in terms of strategic planning processes.” said H. E. Dr. Ezzeldin Aboustit.

The Minister highlighted the urgent need to start using digital technologies in all fields related to agriculture, and to develop agricultural extension through modern technologies to provide farmers with the needed information and data, which will contribute to increase productivity and the quality of agricultural products. He also indicated the need to raise awareness among farmers about the negative effects of climate change.

The Minister of Agriculture declared that the implementation process is scheduled to begin next month, highlighting the important contribution of FAO towards achieving substantial agricultural development worldwide. He also indicated the important role played by Egypt in this regard, and the fruitful cooperation with MALR, as well as the technical support provided in many areas, particularly in the formulation of agricultural plans, policies and strategies, and assistance in their implementation.

“This agreement coincides with the Egyptian government's efforts to update the objectives of the Sustainable Development Strategy 2030. FAO is supporting the Government in its efforts to achieve these objectives, particularly in the area of agriculture and food security”, said Mr. Abdessalam OuldAhmed.

Under the framework of the excellent cooperation relations between FAO and MALR, and at the request of the Minister, FAO will finance the activities to update the Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy 2030. It is worth noting that FAO contributed to the formulation of this strategy in 2009. “Updating the strategy is part of the Country Programming Framework, signed between FAO and the Ministry for the period 2018-2022, which focuses on achieving three government priorities: improving agricultural productivity, raising food security in strategic food commodities, sustainable use of natural agricultural resources”, said Mr. Hussein Gadain.

“Framing the strategy from a value chain perspective will allow to strengthen the necessary interlinkages between sectors. Linking agricultural development to value chain development could provide a framework for developing more resilient agricultural and rural non-farm sectors that can generate better jobs, reduce rural poverty and vulnerability, and enhance food security. Moreover, a specific focus should be given to favoring the participation of smallholders to modern value chains, ensuring a smooth exit out of the agricultural sector and facilitating employment opportunities in other sectors – primarily in agri-food processing and distribution. In short, Egypt’s agricultural transformation should be as much inclusive and pro-poor as possible”, Mr. Gadain also added. 

The technical cooperation program between MALR and FAO comes at an important time, as it is in line with the request that the Ministry of Planning addressed to different ministries to update their sectoral strategy.