Egypt to Begin Digitalizing Agricultural Sector
According to a joint statement by the Egyptian Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, a new joint program is to be launched developing a digital guiding model as part of the 2018-2022 Country program framework signed by the Egyptian government.
The new project aims to bring an agricultural revolution to Egypt in terms of information and methodology. Many countries around the world have applied similar models and achieved notable success. Therefore, in recent years, the global trend has shifted towards modernizing the agricultural sector. If Egypt followed suit, the progress in information will guide Egypt’s farmer to better manage crops and livestock health, thus enhancing agricultural productivity.
A number of government officials and agriculture experts have attended the inauguration event, in which many of them stressed the importance of digitalization as a means of protection against starvation and achieving food security.
Digital agriculture indeed has a number of benefits that include reduction of industrial wastes, lowering expenses for farmers, and ensuring sustainable production. Yet, there are many challenges that stand between Egypt and the digital revolution, mainly in less-developed, remote regions that lack in infrastructure as well as telecommunication; subsequently, the Ministry of Agriculture is not standing idle, launching programs aiming to increase the impact of ICT in agriculture in addition to enhancing personnel efficiency.
Moreover, the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Dr. Ezz El-Din Abu Steit has announced that the ministry is currently working on a central information center containing data on the food industry in Egypt and forecasting operations for water usage and arable areas.
One of the project’s many goals is to establish a digital map of the country’s landscape to keep an eye out for urbanization of agricultural lands and the rate of desertification. Additionally, another map that would monitor animal disease for disease-control is to be initiated, serving as early warnings to farmers of trans-boundaries diseases like rift valley fever.
“FAO is pleased to respond to the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reform request for the provision of a digital model of agricultural extension to contribute to the current efforts to improve the extension services in Egypt. The use of appropriate Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications can facilitate the flow of information and access to extension services for the farmers and rural women, it also facilitates access to markets, information and entrepreneurial opportunities”, Hussein Gadain, a representative from the FAO said in a statement.