Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture: FAO's Irrigation Projects in Egypt - A Focus on Achievements and Future Pathways

"Egypt is confronted with substantial challenges stemming from water scarcity, a predicament exacerbated by its heavy reliance on the Nile River as a primary water source. This confluence of factors is further compounded by the nation’s burgeoning population and the escalating demands of the agricultural sector, which collectively exert immense strain on the available water resources. In the contemporary context, it is imperative to amplify crop yields per unit of irrigation water, a necessity dictated by the pressing requirements of food security.

Within the Egyptian agricultural sector, the communities face many challenges, including water scarcity and the fragmentation of arable land. These challenges have the unfortunate consequence of eroding the gains achieved through concerted efforts. In response to this complex scenario, there exist a variety of strategic pathways that can be pursued to surmount the prevailing challenges. Among these avenues, a pivotal approach involves the transition toward modern irrigation techniques, thoughtfully aligned with the unique contours of the country’s regulatory framework. Concurrently, the judicious utilization of Comprehensive Soil and Water Management (CSWM) tools offers the potential for enhanced operation and management of agricultural processes, contributing to more efficient resource utilization. Furthermore, integrating environmentally friendly methodologies such as solar energy into agricultural practices presents a compelling opportunity to mitigate the impact of these challenges. It is within this overarching context that FAO-Egypt is implementing a project centering its efforts on the deployment of analogous practices and tools with the explicit objective of augmenting water productivity within the agricultural domain.

FAO’s irrigation projects aim to address these challenges by implementing sustainable and efficient irrigation systems. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been involved in several irrigation projects in Egypt aiming to enhancing agricultural productivity, water management, and sustainable development. This session will highlight the initial results and expected_outcomes from the new projects and provide a discussion platform for the different stakeholders and partners. the projects under discussion include the following:

a. The project on “Enhancement of Agricultural Productivity," OSRO/EGY/041/JPN, is an emergency project supported by the government of Japan. The project aims to help vulnerable agricultural households in Upper Egypt and the Nile Delta regions of Egypt, who are threatened by climate change and insufficient water supplies, to become more resilient and less dependent on government assistance. This project is expected to enhance the use of water for farming, increase agricultural production for smallholder farmers, increase incomes, and provide impoverished rural households with economic opportunities.
The project will work towards achieving increased crop yields per unit of irrigation water used over time and improving food security and income generation in selected Haya Karima villages of Minya, Qena, and Kafr El Sheikh Governorates through the upscaling of tested and validated modern irrigation technologies (such as solar-powered pumps and hybrid (low energy drip and/or sprinkler) irrigation systems), climate-smart water management (CSWM) practices, and good agricultural practice (GAP) principles.

b. Government of the Netherlands funded project “Modernization of Irrigation Techniques to Improve the Livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers in Upper Egypt" GCP/EGY/038/NET, which contribute to improving the livelihoods and resilience of vulnerable rural people in the Upper Egypt Region. This contribution will be achieved by improving agricultural productivity through: (i) smallholder farmers transforming from inefficient conventional irrigation practices to collective farming systems and modern irrigation techniques – while adapting to climate change and variability – that include innovative and improved cropping systems; and (ii) agrifood value chain actors increasing their effectiveness to support the more efficient irrigation systems and increased agricultural production."
  • 31 October 2023 14:00 - 15:30 (Alf Lila We Lila C,Ballroom)
(Open Session)
Arabic to English translation


  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


  • Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation - Egypt (MWRI)

  • International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Area (ICARDA)



  • Prof. Mohamed Dawoud / United Arab Emirates


  • Prof. Haruyuki Fujimaki / Egypt

  • Prof. Atef Nassar / Egypt

  • Dr. Ali Abousabaa / Egypt

  • Mrs. Maggie Refat / Egypt

  • Prof. Hani Sewilam / Egypt

  • Eng. Naglaa El-Bendary / Egypt

  • Prof. Rasha El-Kholy / Egypt

  • Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi / United Arab Emirates

  • Dr. Yossry Khafagi / Egypt

  • Dr. Khaled Chatila / Egypt