Egypt’s Agriculture and Land Reclamation Minister Sayyed el Quseir, on behalf of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, participated in a ceremony organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at its headquarters in Rome, Italy, Egypt’s Ambassador to Italy Bassam Radi said.
Radi added that the World Food Forum reflects the organization’s interest in water issues and their connection to agriculture, and this is what the Egyptian delegation was keen on during its meetings in the forum.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said: “This year’s theme “Water is life, water is food. – Leave no one behind” makes the vital connection between water and food: Without water there is no food. And there is no food security without water security.”
“But rapid population growth, urbanization, industrialization, economic development and the climate crisis have all taken a toll on our water resources all over the world,” he added.
“And increasing floods and droughts are further impacting our agrifood systems – jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions of farmers and consumers,” he stressed.
“With all these increasing challenges, water is crucial for agriculture. Yet water scarcity and pollution are putting agrifood systems at risk,” he said.
He went on to say “Governments, the private sector, academia, civil society and all partners need to collaborate better towards a water secure future.”
“Governments need to prioritize water in policy and planning, across sectors and along the water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus,” he said.
He added: “Innovative solutions need to be co-developed with partners, including the private sector.” He further stressed the need to increase the engagement of the private sector, saying “The private sector needs to become water stewards, ensuring that water use is equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial.”
In the same context, the Agriculture Ministry and FAO issued a joint statement, in which the Agriculture minister lauded the existing co-operation between the ministry and all international organizations and development partners concerned with agriculture and food security, led by FAO.
The minister further noted a number of projects are being implemented to raise the level of food security, achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states that the Sustainable Development Gaols (SDGs), and stimulate financing to support climate change adaptation projects in the field of agriculture, the most recent of which was cooperation in launching the Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST) initiative at the Conference of the Parties (COP26) which was held in November 2022 in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.
Egypt is exerting great efforts to strengthen food and agricultural systems with the view to achieving sustainable development, improving agricultural productivity and sustainable use of natural resources to raise the level of food security, the minister said.
The political leadership in Egypt and the government are keen to make optimal use of all available water resources and benefit from them in establishing giant agricultural wastewater treatment plants with a capacity of more than 13 million m3/day, the minister said.