- Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation: A qualitative leap of modern irrigation methods in Egypt and plans to up-scale the project in cooperation with “FAO”
- Two operating units covering 120 feddans in Kafr El Dawar
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) delivered on February 4, the second phase of the solar-powered surface irrigation water lifting stations to the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. The two stations that included operation units 5 and 6 in Sorya village, Kafr Al-Dawar, Beheira Governorate, provide energy to irrigate 120 feddans of land as part of the project that plans to cover the irrigation needs of about 500 feddans and that is funded by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development.
The Handover ceremony was attended by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Atti, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation; Dr. Hussein Gadain, FAO Representative in Egypt; General Hisham Amna, Governor of Beheira; Maher Salman, FAO Water and Irrigation Officer, Dr. Felice Longobardi, Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS)-Cairo Office; along with a number of officials from FAO and the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, representatives of the executing companies, media representatives, station operators and a number of farmers benefiting from the project.
“The project of solar powered water pumps to irrigate crops in the Nile Delta is part of the Country Program Framework agreed upon between FAO and the Egyptian government. The project contributes significantly to reduce water losses caused by evaporation in the channels, to provide a more sustainable source of energy for irrigation purposes, to reduce the negative impact on the environment, the soil pollution from diesel spills and the greenhouse gas emissions. We seek to disseminate this experience at the level of the Egyptian governorates in cooperation with the Egyptian government,” Said Hussein Gadain.
“This project is the first of its kind in Egypt to provide the energy required for irrigation operations in order to meet the needs of farmers without relying on traditional energy sources, which certainly increases agricultural productivity, ensures higher yields of agricultural crops, and provides suitable employment opportunities for youth in the villages benefiting from the project.”, he continued to add.
“This project is a pilot implemented in cooperation with FAO and funded by the Italian government. It is considered a quantum leap for modern irrigation methods in Egypt, to curb water loss and provide an environmental friendly energy source, as an alternative for diesel and electricity. It is clean and renewable energy and contributes to the preservation of the environment, noting that the project relieves the burden on the government’s electricity supply network as well as reduces the damaging effect of global warming.”, Said the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, In his statement at the inauguration ceremony.
Farmers showed great satisfaction with the new solar-powered surface irrigation water lifting stations. They believe these plants would contribute to electricity savings of up to 75 per cent and would facilitate access to irrigation water without the hassle of searching for diesel which was a prerequisite of operating irrigation machines and pumps.
Dr. Felice Longobardi, Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS)-Cairo Office, underlined the long-standing collaboration between Egypt and Italy, in particular in the vital sector of Water Resources and Irrigation, which is of paramount importance for Egypt.
“The Italian cooperation portfolio in Egypt amounts to nearby 200 million Euros with more than 40 ongoing initiatives, in several sectors. The program of the “Solar Powered Water Lifting Plant” will contribute to enhance agricultural irrigation in the area of Nile Delta” Longobardi added.
He underlined that not only the farmers, but also the environment and more broadly the economy will benefit from the project. The project will ensure constant power supply, this will reduce operation and maintenance costs of irrigation and water pumping, in order to provide clean power supply for the national electric grid, even during non-irrigation periods.
The plant is composed of 48 solar cells producing 14.4 kilowatts per hour to irrigate 60 feddans, as the plant pumps water for irrigation. Each pump can draw water up to 45 liters / second with a capacity of 10 HP.
The Funded-project by Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development supports Egypt by making use of solar energy, a renewable and a sustainable solution, to pump water from underground channels to irrigate crop fields. This clean technology reduces the possibility that agriculture in the Delta will be affected by energy supply problems, and water scarcity fears. Using the solar energy contributes also to strengthen the efforts to improve the management of water resources and irrigation.
The Country Programming Framework (2018-2022), signed between FAO and the aims to increase agricultural productivity, achieve food and nutrition security, and optimize the management of natural resources, including water and energy through the use of various technologies and the application of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).”
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