Ministerial visit to the Sids Research Station in Beni Suef
Beni Suef, March 25 – ICARDA and the Agricultural Research Center (ARC) recently joined Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Dr. Azzedeen Abusett, to inspect wheat crop production and the development of improved faba beans at the Sids Research Station in Beni Suef, south of Giza. The delegation, also observed research trials of alfalfa (a livestock feed), lentils, beetroot, chickpeas, and onions.
HE Azzedeen Abusett praised ICARDA and ARC researchers, acknowledging their efforts to develop high-yielding, resilient, and drought-adapted varieties, which he argued would help reduce the food gap of diverse agricultural crops.
He also commented on this year’s promising wheat crop, referring to the positive experience of growing wheat on terraces, which was increasing productivity and enhancing the rationalization of water, and called on farmers to pay attention to wheat purity during the harvesting process so they could benefit from higher prices.
Commenting on this year’s productive wheat harvest, HE Hany Abdel-Gaber said he was grateful for the coordination of the Directorate of Agriculture and the Directorate of Supply. He also praised work at the Research Station, pointing to the success of several pioneering experiments to produce strains of beans that are resistant to pests and diseases, including Orobanche, a broom-rape pest. This, he argued, would help to reduce reliance on foreign imports. He also called for wider dissemination of disease-resistant faba bean varieties, and encouraged farmers to once again cultivate faba bean after years of decline. The development of high-quality varieties of strategic crops, he concluded, would help to strengthen Egypt’s national food security.
Dignitaries attending the visit also included Dr. Mohammed Suleiman, Head of ARC, Mr. Aly Abousabaa, ICARDA’s Director General, Dr. Jacques Wery, ICARDA’s Deputy Director General for Research, Dr. Atef Swalem, ICARDA Senior Scientist for Irrigation & Water Management, and Dr. Aladdin Hamwieh, Chickpea Breeder and ICARDA’s Regional Coordinator for the Nile Valley and Red Sea.