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Egypt Launches Major Wheat-Growing Project in the Desert: Expert

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Egypt is continuing a major rainwater-dependent desert wheat project on the northern coast and Matrouh province.

Egyptian economist and adviser to former Minister of Supply Nader Noureddin said in statements to RT that rainfed agriculture is the backbone as it accounts for 80% of all world agriculture, while irrigated agriculture only accounts for about 20% and drylands do not. little rain.

The Egyptian expert continued: “Rainfed agriculture requires two main points, namely intensity and continuity, that is, the intensity of precipitation, so that the water reaches the depth of the soil and the maximum depth that the roots reach, as well as continuity throughout the growing season. before the harvest.”

Nureddin pointed out that Egypt belongs to a very arid and dry climate, while the average rainfall in all parts of Egypt is only 20 mm per year, but it increases on the northern coast and in the lands adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea, up to 180-200 mm in year. mm per year, which is not enough for non-irrigated crops that require precipitation. From 350-400 milliliters per year, and also has the disadvantages of a lack of continuity, as it often stops in March, while winter crops continue to remain in the ground until mid-May, such as wheat, beans, lentils and chickpeas.

He noted that therefore rainfed agriculture in northern Egypt was not successful, and there the Bedouins, west of Alexandria, Hammam, Matruh and Saloum, up to the Libyan border, grow fodder for their livestock, and sometimes barley, which remains in the soil for a month less, than wheat, and harvested in April.

An adviser to the former Minister of Supply confirmed that, in addition, a fungal plant called Al-Fakka, similar to the fruit of a small potato, but rich in vitamins, minerals and hormones, has appeared.

He noted that the transition to the cultivation of economic crops in this region, which requires a rainfall of 305 to 400 mm, and for it to be regular, dense and characteristic of continuity, leads to the deterioration of the soil and the death of these crops, and in order to for these economic crops of wheat, beans and lentils to be successful, they require one to two additional irrigations of water Flowing or unsalted well water, and therefore the FAO recommended the inevitability of Egypt’s harvest of rain, whether in widened trenches that resemble canals, or in groves or groves, which are deep round holes, similar to sewers and dug in rows to store rainwater during its abundance, to be used when the rains are interrupted in March and April before the need for wheat, beans, lentils and other irrigation water died to the end April and early May.

He continued: “So the idea behind creating a canal along the extension of Hammam was to cover the northwest coast with water and provide additional irrigation needed for winter crops, in addition to rain harvesting systems. It is usually located in close proximity to the region. to the Mediterranean Sea and its salty waters, salinizing the soil and its groundwater, and also bears the poor quality of irrigation water, pumping the treated waters of the western delta runoff into this area, where barley produces a good harvest and is very much in demand by neighboring countries in Libya and Saudi Arabia , which are the two main importing countries of barley. In the world, in addition to its price, which has become equal to the price of wheat, and that it does not need large doses of chemical fertilizers like wheat, it is also possible to grow potatoes, and this area should be started from barley for two seasons until the soil improves and allows wheat, legumes, and after that fodder crops to be grown.

Source: RT

Cairo – Nasser Hatem

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