As part of SAMSIMIFA (Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization System Improvement in Minya and Fayoum Governorates - Egypt) project, sponsored by the Italian Cooperation through a grant provided to the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR), the first lots of agricultural machinery and equipment have landed in the port of Alexandria, Egypt. The Egyptian Ministry was assisted by CIHEAM Bari in liaising with the farmers’ cooperatives of Minya and Fayoum Governorates to identify the machinery and equipment that can improve productivity, and to establish services centres aimed at facilitating their large-scale availability to farmers.
This project was funded via a €10 million soft loan and is part of the Italian Cooperation’s strategy to support agricultural and rural development in Egypt, CIHEAM Bari is responsible for its implementation, and it provides technical and scientific assistance to MALR, working in close collaboration with the Agricultural Engineering Research Institute (AEnRI), directed by Dr. Mohammed El Kholy.
SAMSIMIFA is intended to promote sustainable growth of rural communities in Upper Egypt, more specifically in the target areas of Minya and Fayoum governorates. It also aims to create a pilot model for co-operatives that will turn out to drive local development, by reinvesting revenues from rental services, and providing effective technical assistance in the machinery’s proper use.
The supply (33 containers carrying agricultural machinery and equipment, mostly produced in Italy) was delivered in the areas of Mallawi and Samalout (El Minya) and Etza and Sennores (El Fayoum) selected by MALR's mechanization service, directed by Dr. Adel El-Ashkar, The machines will be assembled in these areas where training on proper use will also be provided to maintenance technicians and farmers. The final beneficiaries will include 14 MALR’s mechanization stations, 2 research stations of the Agricultural Research Center (ARC), and 11 agricultural cooperatives bringing together approximately 25,000 members, mainly small farmers.
In particular, the new machinery will be used for soil tillage and to enhance sowing, fertilization, plant protection treatments, weed control and harvesting. In fact, these operations, except for soil tillage, are still performed manually by almost all farmers in the target areas.
SAMSIMIFA project’s National Coordinator, Dr. Essam Wasif, stated that the project will improve farmers' access to sustainable mechanization practices and new technologies. Innovation will help stabilize the rural population in the target areas while bringing a new management scheme for local authorities and agricultural cooperatives to ensure economic sustainability of machinery rental to farmers.