Egypt is making great progress in carrying out a national project for protected agriculture. The end goal is for the country to achieve self-sufficiency of vegetables, maintain food security and increase agricultural exports.
The Egyptian armed forces have recently distributed greenhouses to farmers in Sinai Peninsula, east of Cairo, while the Ministry of Agriculture distributed seedlings of a variety of vegetables to them for free to encourage the use of the modern type of agriculture.
As the most populous Arab country, Egypt aims to cultivate 42,000 ha using protected cultivation, and it has so far managed to cultivate 6,300 ha via greenhouses in different areas, said Engineer Ibrahim el-Desouky, supervisor of protected agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture.
Desouky pointed out that through Egypt's ongoing national project for protected crops, the country seeks to produce large amounts of vegetables to meet the needs of the local market and export the surplus.
One of the advantages of protected agriculture is saving large amounts of irrigation water, he added. Another advantage of protected cultivation is that it makes the most of agricultural lands, because crops cultivated inside greenhouses grow vertically, take smaller space and save open areas of lands for growing strategic crops, such as rice, wheat and beans, Desouky explained.
Since February 2018, Egypt has launched thousands of greenhouses as part of the country's greenhouse mega project, which is expected to produce over 1.5 million tonnes of vegetables per year and provide more than 300,000 direct job opportunities.