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    ICT, Agriculture Ministers Head High Commission Meeting to Develop Agriculture Sector

    Cairo, 7 May 2014

    The Minister of Communications and information Technology Atef Helmy and the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Ayman Abu Hadid presided over the supreme committee for follow-up on developing projects of the agriculture sector using ICT tools.

    This comes in the framework of mutual cooperation between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Ministry of Agriculture and land Reclamation.

    The supreme committee was held in the presence of the Egyptian General Surface Authority Chairman, Medhat Kamal and a number of executives from both ministries.

    During the meeting, attendees followed up on the implementation phase of the projects under the joint cooperation protocol signed in November 2013. This is part of the plan aiming at developing the agriculture sector due to its large investment size that brings benefit to all, therefore, pushing the economy forward.

    Both sides cooperate in projects related to land reclamation automation system through creating a nationwide land owner database, as part of an informatics  system and geographical database for agriculture lands, in order to facilitate transactions using a unified serial number of land reclamation conjunct with the owner national ID number.

    The land reclamation automation system shall help organize cultivation lands and guarantee a safe delivery of subsidized fertilizers and production inputs to targeted groups, in addition to providing a clear vision to decision-makers in order to set national strategies and policies as well as making the right decisions.

    Several execution alternatives were showcased; it was agreed to launch the execution of the first phase of the project in four governorates, representing 40% of the nation surface, during a period of two years.

    Participants roles were identified, infringements on agricultural reform lands and outlying areas were located and the agricultural guidance development, especially the services offered to farmers was also tackled.

    Pinpointing the infringements on agricultural lands was highly recommended in view of its national importance to preserve the Stateís lands and reveal infringements through the use of advanced technology like remote sensing and comparing satellite images in different time intervals. It was also agreed to start implementing this system on four principal roads: West Assiut, Ismailia, Suez and Alexandria desert road.

    Helmy praised the agriculture guidance project in the agriculture association of El-Mounir village located at Mashtool El-Souk center in Sharqiya governorate. Inaugurated in March 2014, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and land Reclamation, the project-- being an impeccable model-- should be replicated in other villages, he said.

    A study and action plan are currently being prepared to generalize the project on agriculture associations nationwide within three years entailing a call center to revive communications with farmers, thus, allowing the Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate the processes of guidance. Such projects should create more jobs for youth in different governorates, he has added.

    These projects come within the framework of a unified agriculture investment plan including activities such as: land ownership, agricultural reclamation, investment opportunities in poultry production and  fishery, a step towards achieving integration with the rest of the government bodies through a national center for spacial data integrator (SDI).

    MCIT works hard to establish an SDI system, to provide a secured BaseMap on the national level to all Stateís sector, in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Administrative Development and the Egyptian General Surface Authority. The reason is to raise the efficiency of planned decision, ensure cooperation and coordination in implementing policies, as well as exchanging of information between concerned governmental bodies.        

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