Egypt gets $70m AfDB loan for agriculture

Egypt has received a loan totaling $70 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance an agriculture project, the Reuters reported citing the (AfDB).

The project is expected to create some 60,500 jobs.

The loan is to be used to finance the Rural Revenue and Economic Situation Improvement Project.

According to the, Egypt’s agricultural sector remains one of the most productive in the world, despite the small area of arable land and irregular and insufficient water supplies.

Farmers do not have to pay for water used in irrigation. Since the construction of the Aswan Dam on the Nile river, the sector’s development has been hindered by the problems of waterlogged soil and soil with a high salt content.

Drainage efforts have proved insufficient to counter the harmful effects of these 2 factors to the sector’s performance. Since the mid-1980s, the government has attempted to reclaim the desert for cultivation, and has managed to successfully reclaim some 1 million acres of desert.

Plans are underway to reclaim an additional 3.5 million acres by the year 2017 with the South Valley Development project near Lake Nasser. These efforts, however, are countered by the fast pace of urban and industrial expansion, which has been claiming an average of 31,000 acres a year.

By Emmanuel K.Dogbevi

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