FAO in Egypt

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The FAO Representation to the Arab Republic of Egypt opened in 1978. Over the past years, the Organization has participated in a large range of agricultural and rural development activities targeting Egypt’s specific needs. FAO’s support includes strategy, policy and institutional development, promotion of good agricultural practices and South-South Cooperation. The Organization has also taken the lead in supporting investments agriculture.

Optimizing water management

With FAO’s support, the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has identified a cropping pattern for optimizing the use of shrinking water resources and for informing people about climate change risks and response. The Organization has also helped to establish a comprehensive monitoring system to forecast the impact of climate change-related rises in sea level on soils and groundwater in the Nile Delta.

Egypt is involved in FAO’s Regional Initiative on Water Scarcity in the Near East and North Africa, whereby countries have developed a cooperative strategy for sustainable agricultural water management. As a result, a water accounting system for water consumption and productivity has been established within the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and a solar-powered water-lifting technology has been developed for irrigation in the Nile Delta.

Policies and national strategies 

FAO continuously supports the Government of Egypt in developing key strategies to guide the sustainable development of agriculture and food security.

  • Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy towards 2030. This strategy serves as a reference for all UN and donor agencies’ agricultural interventions in Egypt. The government is currently reviewing the strategy with technical support from FAO. Related to this is the Forest Policy Framework, which was formulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) with FAO assistance, and which led to the development of the Tree and Forest Management Law.
  • Enhancing biosecurity governance to support sustainable aquaculture production in Egypt. This project aims to support the sustainable development of aquaculture through a National Strategy on Aquatic Animal Health (NSAAH), developed according to the Progressive Management Pathway to improve aquaculture biosecurity. The project is expected to enhance capacities of competent authorities, farmers and other stakeholders in support of responsible aquaculture production and reduced biosecurity shocks and risks.
  • Policy Formulation and Sectoral Agriculture Disaster Risk Reduction Action Plan for Egypt. The FAO team in Egypt will facilitate the development of the Action Plan under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR). 

Promoting GAP for sustainable agriculture

FAO is promoting water harvesting and the use of good agricultural practices (GAP) for sustainable agriculture in Matrouh to increase the sustainability and productivity of rain-fed agriculture in rural areas and to improve the livelihood of the rural poor. A project funded by the European Union via the Joint Rural Development Programme is expected to increase water availability and improve knowledge of good agricultural practices related to water resource management and improved agricultural production.

Another project implemented by FAO is applying GAP to achieve sustainable improvements in the quality and quantity of horticultural production in Fayoum. The aim is to improve the living conditions of small-scale horticultural farmers by increasing their competitiveness and enhancing the economic status of the rural poor. This project is especially aimed at small scale horticultural growers with the aim of promoting the adoption of practices conducive to the efficient use of land and water. 

Matching FAO’s expertise to Egypt’s development priorities

FAO assistance in Egypt is shaped by the 2018 2022 FAO Country Programming Framework (CPF) , which is centered on three Government priority areas: 

  • Improved agricultural productivity, focusing on strategies and plans for small-scale dairy production and agricultural extension; regulations and frameworks of sanitary measures; capacity development of R&D on modern technologies for inland and marine aquaculture production; enhancing Information Management Systems for agricultural policies and food security monitoring; and increased capacities in technology transfer.
  • Raising the degree of food security in strategic food commodities, by further developing national strategies and plans for food and nutrition security; reducing pre and post-harvest losses; strengthening agricultural cooperatives; supporting public-private policy dialogues; expanding social protection to rural areas, including small holder farmers and small-scale fisher folks; and encouraging small enterprises for youth and women.
  • Sustainable use of natural agricultural resources, focusing on innovative technologies for water productivity and enhanced climate change adaptation; the water-energy-food nexus and water availability through alternative freshwater sources, water harvesting and use of treated wastewater, and biodiversity management strategies for agriculture.

Jointly formulated with the Government and other development partners, the CPF reflects relevant priorities in key national development policies, including the Egypt Vision 2030, the Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy, and the National Water Resources Plan

Focus on institutional capacity

  • Transboundary animal disease control.

Through the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), FAO has supported institutional capacity strengthening within the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. Thanks to a USD 24.5 million USAID funded project, ECTAD is providing emergency response to control and prevent the spread of transboundary animal diseases, particularly those of pandemic and zoonotic importance. ECTAD has built strong and durable ties with the Ministry through the General Organization for Veterinary Services (GOVS), which supports efforts to strengthen Egypt’s Livestock Early Warning System.

  • Fall Armyworm response

Through an emergency response project to enhance national capacities for early warning, monitoring and managing of Fall Armyworm (FAW), FAO is contributing to the protection of livelihoods and food security of smallholders in FAW-affected areas. This project is also developing capacities of the main stakeholders for surveillance, monitoring and integrated management of FAW. Specifically, the project aims to contribute reducing the spread of FAW by strengthening monitoring and integrated management capacities at all levels.

  • Digital transformation in agriculture

FAO is providing a digital model of agricultural extension, contributing to improved extension services in Egypt. The use of appropriate Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications facilitate the flow of information and access to extension services for farmers while also facilitating access to markets, information and entrepreneurial opportunities. Project team members are working closely with experts from Egypt’s Agriculture Research Centre to convert technical content into digital form for dissemination through a mobile application.