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Egypt

Egyptian Farmer

 

ICARDA Egypt Office established in 1978 

Country manager: Aladdin Hamwieh  

 

Overview 

ICARDA’s work in Egypt is made possible through the support of our national partners, The government of Egypt, Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) CGIAR Research Program on WHEAT, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), CGIAR GENDER Platform, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU),  Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

ICARDA’s partnership with Egypt dates to 1979 when, together with Sudan, ICARDA launched the Nile Valley Project. An ever-growing research partnership has successfully delivered solutions to improving livelihoods and enhancing food security.  

Egypt forms the hub of ICARDA's Nile Valley and Red Sea Regional Program, which strategically aligns activities with Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen. The country is also a key player in ICARDA's new decentralization strategy as a thematic research location for sustainable intensification in irrigated systems, and, is a financially contributing member of the CGIAR as a result of its collaboration with ICARDA. 

Collaborative research activities help strengthen the resilience of Egypt’s agricultural sector against multiple challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and rising food import dependence. Outputs include the development of new resilient and climate-smart varieties of strategic crops like faba bean and bread wheat in addition to barley, durum wheat, lentil and chickpea; proven technologies that use water more productively; small ruminant breeding under heat stress; and sustainable land management practices.  

 

Activities

  • Capacity strengthening of farmers, extension staff, local scientists, and community workers are integrated across all research activities, crop improvement, advanced biotechnology tools, water management, seed production and the use of GIS application. 

  • Raised-bed planting: a practice that involves planting crops on ridges and applying irrigation water to the bottom of furrows, which offers a more efficient and sustainable alternative to conventional irrigation techniques.  

  • A collaboration with Egypt’s Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute has successfully harnessed advanced biotechnology to develop climate-resilient chickpea, faba bean and wheat varieties.  

  • Replacement of traditional wheat varieties used by farmers with fast-track rust-resistant/heat-tolerant wheat of rapid seed multiplication. 

  • Partnerships with Egyptian institutes and authorities to improve the productivity of irrigation water through intensification of existing cultivated land.  

  • Since 2009, the ICARDA-Agricultural Research Center (ARC) Wheat Improvement Program (WIP) has improved germplasm, enhanced crop management, and strengthened national capacity in wheat production. 

  • Releasing new varieties of faba bean resistant to Orobanche and viruses. 

  • Enhancing barley production in north Egypt and in the marginal lands to introduce barley flour instead of wheat in Baladi bread. 

  • Genetic analysis of sheep and goats indigenous to the drylands to determine how their genetic 'fingerprints' best suit them to be resilient in the face of climate change.

 

Impact 

  • Farmers adopting the recommended faba bean packages of the Nile Valley Project saw their average incomes increase by 173%. 

  • Since 1978, over 16,000 Egyptian researchers, extension agents and farmers have benefited from ICARDA’s comprehensive capacity development program.  

  • Rust-resistant wheat varieties generated yield advantages of 21-25% and net benefits of 39-46% over existing commercial varieties. 

  • Around 19,840 tons of certified rust-resistant and high-yielding seed have been distributed, with the potential to cover 11% of Egypt’s wheat-growing area.  

  • By 2017, the area devoted to raised-bed sown wheat extended across around 125,000 ha – or 10% of the country’s total wheat-growing area.  

  • The genetic analysis of sheep and goats found high genetic diversity but low genetic differentiation between populations, with at least two genetic backgrounds characterizing the genetic makeup of species in Egypt.  

Innovations in Egypt

LATEST NEWS

ICARDA-ARC Annual Planning Meeting
News
Every year, ICARDA and Egypt's Agricultural Research Center carry out planning meetings to discuss Egypt's agricultural development priorities and collaborate on the goals and objectives of the future of Egypt's agriculture.
Farmers in field
News
A recent study conducted by ICARDA’s Gender Scientist Dr. Dina Najjar, published in Feminist Economics Journal, examines the gender dimensions of land and non-land assets ownership in Egypt’s Old and New Lands.
Sids Visit
News
Representatives of ICARDA and ARC visited the Sids experimental station in Beni Sweif on March 22, to inspect key climate-smart and improved crop varieties.