Egypt allocated LE100 million to conduct innovative research to increase the productivity of wheat crops, produce new strains of the rice crop and increase its production, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar announced Monday morning, at the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), hosted by Benin virtually.
This was done through the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology.
The forum discussed the development of vocational education and strengthening the role of higher education, technology and innovation in Africa’s agricultural transformation to face global food shortages and bolster sustainable economic development in the continent.
During his speech, Abdel Ghaffar stressed Egypt’s role in the G10, which leads higher education and scientific research in Africa.
He referred to Egypt’s efforts to upgrade its higher education and scientific research system, as the education budget was doubled to six percent of the gross domestic product, and the scientific research budget doubled to more than one percent of the gross domestic product.
Upgrading higher education, scientific research and innovation is one of the most important challenges in the African continent, which requires allocating appropriate budgets for it, he said.
Abdel Ghaffar also reviewed the efforts of the government and the Higher Education Ministry to develop agricultural research to bridge the local food gap and participate in bridging the food gap worldwide.
The ministry allocated LE33 million for innovative and creative research in fish production, as well as the development of an ammonia injection system for agricultural lands to improve productivity and establish a seed bank.
Abdel Ghaffar stressed the importance of benefiting from scientific research in maximizing fisheries wealth on the African continent, as Africa has more than 30,000 km of beaches, which can contribute to doubling its fish production thereby covering the world’s needs, creating job opportunities, and achieving economic growth for the African continent.
Egypt places great importance to this research, he said, referring to cooperation between the government and the AUC Rural Economy and Agriculture Commission to establish a regional center for education and research in aquaculture, by graduating generations of researchers who are capable of developing Egypt’s fish wealth.
He also referred to Egypt’s interest in veterinary health and doubling its livestock and poultry production.
Abdel Ghaffar also stressed that attention must be paid to climate change, one of the biggest challenges facing the world and especially the African continent, as agriculture and food security are the two sectors most affected by climate change.
Egypt has thus worked to genetically modify crops which can better adapt to climate change, he added.
Abdel Ghaffar referred to the need to strengthen the technical and vocational education and training environment in the African continent, due to its main role in the future of jobs and digitization, stressing that the future job plan cannot be far from education, science, technology and innovation.
The education strategy in Egypt is based on benefiting from vocational education, and includes establishing technological universities to bridge the gap in technical and vocational education and training, to create job opportunities in the future, he added.
At the end of his speech, Abdel Ghaffar expressed Egypt’s readiness to present its expertise to Africa in all fields, especially higher education and scientific research.
He expressed his hope that the conference will reach recommendations that contribute to developing the fields of education and scientific research to achieve sustainable development goals in Africa.