Egypt allocates $4.7bln for agricultural development in FY 2021/22: Planning Minister

COVID-19 pandemic showed the great importance that the agricultural sector occupies

  
A farmer and his son harvest a field along a road leading to the capital city of Cairo, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Egypt April 14, 2020.

A farmer and his son harvest a field along a road leading to the capital city of Cairo, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Egypt April 14, 2020.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development has announced the government goals in the agricultural sector for fiscal year (FY) 2021/22, which is the fourth year of the medium-term plan for sustainable development (2018/19 – 2021/22).

Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, explained that the agricultural sector and the related activities of animal, poultry, and fish production are the main source of food, as well as the inputs of the industrial sector.

This sector is characterized by its wide geographical scope to include different governorates, and by absorbing the largest part of the workforce in rural areas. Its position in the national economy is also reinforced by the strength of its interconnectedness with other economic sectors, especially the sectors of transportation, storage, trade, and manufacturing.

El-Said added that the COVID-19 pandemic showed the great importance that the agricultural sector occupies, as it contributed significantly to fulfilling the food needs of citizens without the emergence of bottlenecks in the markets, and also played an important role in strengthening the trade balance by exploiting the export opportunities provided by the crisis to access new markets beside traditional markets.

Regarding the total agricultural investments for 2021/22, El-Said indicated that total investments of about EGP 73.8bn were directed to the agricultural sector, representing 5.9% of the total investments, compared to about EGP 43bn achieved in 2019/20, amounting to EGP 39.5bn.

The report of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development indicated that agriculture contributes about 15% of the gross domestic product, about 25% of the total labor force, and about 18% of the proceeds of total commodity exports.

The report added that in recognition of the importance of the agricultural sector, the plan for 2021/22 continues its adoption of efforts aimed at enhancing the economy of the sector and maximizing the added value and financial returns for farmers by improving performance levels, raising production and marketing efficiency, rationalizing the use of inputs, in particular water resources, and improving soil properties.

The report referred to the agricultural sector’s goals in 2021/22, which are represented in increasing agricultural production at current prices to about EGP 1118bn, with a growth rate of more than 9%, compared to about EGP 1022bn expected in 20/2021, in addition to increasing agricultural GDP at current prices by 11% to reach about EGP 821bn in 2021/22, compared to about EGP 673bn in 2019/20 and the expected amount in 2020/21, which is EGP 740bn.

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