Collaborative Agricultural and Rural Development of Settlement in the Nubariya Region, Egypt

August 1996


This work is the result of a joint effort by the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclaration and the Department of International Cooperation (MASHAV) of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The document was prepared by Dr. Nabil El-Mowelhi, Director of Egypt's General Authority for Rehabilitation Projects and Agricultural Development (GARPAD), Mr. Yitzhak Abt, Director of the Center for International Agricultural Development (CINADCO), Mr. Zvi Herman, Deputy Director of CINADCO, and Ms. Bat Eden Kite, Head of the Office of the Director of MASHAV.

We wish to acknowledge the special contribution of Ms. Ella Aphek, Director of Egyptian Affairs, Israel Ministry of Froeign Affairs and Dr. Daphna Schwartz, Director of the Development Study Center. We also extend thanks to Netafim, Letd. for their contribution in planning the irrigation program; to Dr. Yair Etzion, Head of the Center for Desert Architecture and Urban Planning; to Agridev Co. Ltd.; and to all the professionals and experts from both Egypt and Israel who took part in the development of these project proposals.

Materials were compiled and edited by Mr. June Dilevsky, design and production by Mr. Hanan Milner and Eliya Kanaky.


The Arab Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, The General Authority for Rehabilitation Projects and Agricultural Development (GARPAD).

The State of Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV).

 

Introduction

Regional Development of the East Mediterranean

The Middle East/North Africa region is currently undergoing marked political changes, economic restructuring and social redefinition. The challenge embodied in the promise of a new era demands that technical cooperation and human resource development remain an integral part of our common endeavors.

The process of political, economic, social and cultural integration between the countries of the Mediterranean presents an unprecedented opportunity to build a regional dialogue for development cooperation, affirming the conviction that common action will ensure that the Mediterranean becomes an area of stability and trade.

This dialogue first came to fruition in November 1977 with the visit of Egypt's President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem. With the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty on 26 March 1978, 30 years of war between the two countries came to an end. Most recently, this dialogue was reaffirmed at the meeting of the Egypt-Israel Joint Agricultural Committee, held in May, 1996.

Obligated to the global commitments to safeguard the dignity and human rights of all people and provide for decent and sustainable living, the following proposal by representatives of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel reflects the new vision of development cooperation, designed to ensure stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean while building public support and confidence in the Middle East peace process.

Egypt and Israel have acquired much experience in the field of agricultural cooperation since the signing of the peace treaty in 1978, and are prepared to share their technological expertise with the regional community. For more than 15 years Egyptian-Israeli cooperation, often under trilateral agreements, has taken the form of joint agricultural demonstration activities and training programs, conducted in both Egypt and Israel, short and long-term consultancies and joint R&D projects.

The two countries have come together to formulate a technical cooperation program dedicated to rural settlement and development that will focus on enhancing regional integration as a crucial factor in securing stability in the area.

Emphasis will be placed on developing human resources and involving the private sector in the development process to assure sustainable and self-engendering economic growth. Program objectives will include reducing inequality between the urban and rural sectors; improving social and educational services catering local populations; protecting the environment and natural resources, and ensuring the empowerment of women as an integral part of development policies. Program implementation will focus on agricultural/rural development, agri-technology, business administration, community planning, computer sciences, entrepreneurship and small business development training.

To successfully accomplish these aims, rural development must be viewed within a comprehensive framework which integrates agricultural activity with other aspects of economic and social life. This is particularly important within the framework of Egypt's development goals which include the reclamation and settlement of vast desert areas for agricultural cultivation.

Haim Divon
Deputy Director General
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Head of the Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV)

Fouad Abou Hadab
Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
Co-chairman Egypt-Israel Joint Agricultural Committee


The Development of Areas of Rural Settlement in Egypt

The Egyptian government has undertaken an extensive program to reclaim desert lands as part of the initiative put forward by President Mubarak, "to put an end to Egypt's dependence on foreign countries". Top priority is placed on reclaiming desert lands for agricultural cultivation at an average rate of no less than 150,000 feddans annually. Since 1954, approximately 2.4 million feddan have been added to Egypt's cultivated area. Approximately 1.2 million feddans have been reclaimed in the decade between 1985-1995 and to date, the surface area of cultivable desert lands comes to approximately 3 million feddans.

Egypt's current 1992-1997 Five-Year-Plan for land reclamation calls for reclaiming an area of 827,000 feddan in desert areas east and west of Egypt's Nile Valley. Approximately one-third of the land reclaimed will be parceled to graduates of universities and higher vocational secondary schools. Of these 10,000 graduates, about 40% are expected to have formal academic qualifications in agriculture, while others will have completed courses in non-agricultural fields of study.

The new settlers receive basic housing and essential services in villages planned for 500-1,000 households. These villages are served by roads and provided with an infrastructure for schools, health facilities, mosques and facilities for the provision of community, economic and agricultural support-services. Program implementation focuses on agricultural/rural development, agri-technology, business administration, community planning, computer sciences, entrepreneurship and small business development training.

To successfully accomplish the development goals designated by Egypt's General Authority for Rehabilitation Projects and Agricultural Development (GARPAD), rural development is undertaken within a comprehensive framework which integrates agricultural activity with other aspects of economic and social life. This approach promotes the successful reclamation of vast desert areas, not only from the standpoint of agricultural production, but from the standpoint of the broader socio-economic goals inherent in the program to resettle university graduates as well.

The impact of agrarian reform programs in Egypt has been positive. The agrarian sector is becoming increasingly more liberalized and oriented toward free market mechanisms. The result of present policies has been impressive gains in output, with grain crops reaching record levels in the mid-1990s. Significant achievements towards furthering Egypt's self sufficiency have been attained and exports for several crops have grown over the last few years. In 1994, agricultural production increased by approximately 2.5%, in spite of unusually harsh weather conditions.


Egyptian-Israeli Agricultural Cooperation

Agricultural cooperation between Israel and Egypt has been on-going since the 1980s. The first steps were taken with the initiation of joint agricultural research, facilitated in large part by the Middle East Regional Cooperation (MERC) Program sponsored by USAID. The joint effort at the Nubaseed demonstration farm, the CALAR (Cooperative Arid Land Research) and TAHRP (veterinary research) projects and the German-sponsored poultry breeding project are but a few examples of this cooperation. Other on-going projects include: R&D activities at Maryut, a program for biotechnological upgrading of agricultural wastes, and joint research into methods of non-chemical plant disease management. An initiative to conduct a feasibility study for the graduate settlement in the Aswan region will be implemented shortly.

The Egypt-Israel Joint Agriculture Committee was established in the 1980s to facilitate cooperation between the two states in agricultural and rural development projects. The Committee is co-chaired by representatives from the two countries.

1992 witnessed a breakthrough in the scope of bilateral collaboration in technical training, when 114 Egyptian professionals participated in training courses conducted in Israel. This number grew to 261 trainees in 1993, and more than 600 in both 1994 and 1995. In total, more than 1,600 Egyptian professionals have studied in courses in Israel, and over 1,000 have participated in on-the-spot courses, held at the International Training Center in Maryut. In addition, an Israeli agricultural consultant was assigned to the region in 1995 for a period of two years, to provide technical assistance at the Nubaseed demonstration farm. These services also include technical advice concerning settlement programs for university graduates.

The increase in training activity was supported in great part by a Trilateral Agreement signed between the Governments of Denmark, Israel and Egypt in November 1993. This treaty launched a program to train Egyptian university graduates and agricultural personnel in tailor-made training programs in Egypt and Israel. Emphasis is placed on improving family farm management practices and arid zone development. Supplementing the training courses in Israel, the program supports on-the-spot training courses. $1.2 million dollars has been allocated by the three parties for activities in 1996 and 1997.

At a meeting held in May 1996, the Israel-Egypt Joint Agricultural Committee endorsed a bilateral initiative undertaken by Israel's Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV) and Egypt's General Authority for Rehabilitation Projects and Agricultural Development (GARPAD) to formalize and implement an integrated program of projects for sub-regional development in Egypt. The components of this program include:


Maryut International Training Center: This project would upgrade current facilities at the Maryut Center to enhance the effectiveness of training activities. Partial financing has been obtained for some aspects of the upgrade program. In order to initiate agricultural demonstration activities, Israel has undertaken to advance financing for some of the agricultural demonstration facilities at Maryut. Additional investments will be necessary to acquire computer equipment and software, augment library and computer networking facilities, and establish a permanent demonstration site for both open-field and protected agricultural production.

Joint training programs: More than 526 university graduates, farm community leaders and extension personnel were trained within a special program of courses held in Israel in 1995. The scope of training programs for 1996 is similar to that of 1995, but is more highly specialized. During the same period, 12 graduate courses were held in Egypt at the Maryut International Training Center for 200 trainees. In 1996, refresher courses are being held in Egypt on specific topics studied by the alumni of courses held in Israel. An additional four courses are being held in Israel for extension personnel and specialists already involved in Egypt's Graduate Settlement Program. The scale of overall joint training programs will be a function of the financial resources made available for this project. The government of Denmark serves as a sponsor for this project.

Belal Demonstration Village Project: This project is designed for the settlement of 200 graduate families engaged in and based on the following types of agricultural activities: protected agriculture; open-field vegetable production; dairy and small ruminant production; fruit production; poultry production; fodder and feed centers; and other support services. Within the framework of this project 20 to 30 demonstration farms will be developed on 5-feddan plots. It will be coordinated and co-financed/resource supported by MASHAV and GARPAD. Financing from international sources is required for the full project development.

Reconnaissance and Feasibility Study on 20,000 Feddan in Nubariya: The objective of this project is to provide the basis for a sub-regional land reclamation and settlement program for 3,000 farm units in the Nubaryia area. The study will be jointly conducted by GARPAD and other departments from Egypt's Ministry of Agriculture; MASHAV and its professional associates, the Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO) and the Development Study Centre (DSC).

Integrated Pest Management in Cotton Production - I.C.A.C: This project was initiated in 1991 as a multilateral research project between Israel, Egypt, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe and is currently being financed by the Common Fund for Commodities (C.F.C.). Its primary objective is the development and employment of biological control methods to overcome crop damage caused by whitefly and cotton aphids. Extension of the project depends on continuing financial support.

Joint Egyptian-Israeli Committee on Afforestation Activity: The establishment of this Committee would constitute the first step in initiating afforestation projects in areas along the Egyptian-Israel border. Committee activity will include professional exchanges between experts and exchange of plant materials.

Breeding of Featherless Neck Poultry: As a result of a trilateral research project conducted under the auspices of the German-Israel Agricultural Research Agreement (GIARA), a new breed of heat-resilient poultry has been developed. These new breeds can be introduced into family-operated enterprises at graduate settlements in Egypt.
As these activities represent international efforts to develop arid regions through joint research, training and technology transfer, they coincide with the tenets of the recently ratified UN Convention to Combat Desertification (see Appendix One).

Four of the joint Egyptian-Israeli initiatives have been elaborated in detailed proposals which will be presented in the pages to follow. Donor participation is required to assist in financing these important regional efforts, the purpose of which is to promote sustainable economic development through desert rehabilitation.


Project Profiles

Summary Table of Proposed Projects
(in thousand US $)

  Project Estimated Budget
I. Maryut International Training Center 1,530
II. Belal Village Project 8,355
III. Subregional Plan for Rural Development in Nubariya 500
IV. Enrichment Training and Society Building Programs *5,850
  Total 16,235

* For a three-year program of additional joint training initiatives in arid land agriculture, integrative rural development, social services and community building.

The International Center for Training and Development at Maryut

Center for Training and Development for Agricultural Support Services on New Lands was established in 1969, in Maryut, a town located on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road, approximately 40 kilometers, south of the city of Alexandria. It is situated in the heart of the recently reclaimed areas of the West Delta, in the Nubariya New Land Development Region.

The Center is well equipped to conduct intensive and diversified agricultural training programs. It provides the necessary institutional base for offering the training and demonstration services needed by the new settlers to become productive farmers in the shortest possible time. Campus facilities include buildings for practical and theoretical training, accommodations for up to 500 trainees, administration offices, classrooms, dining hall, staff residence and recreational facilities.

This project is designed to upgrade and expand the existing infrastructure of the Center.

While initially oriented to the needs of the Egyptian farmers settling on newly reclaimed arid lands, the Center will be designed to accommodate trainees and instructors from countries facing similar development challenges. The Center may serve as a regional, international training facility for the exchange of information, ideas, and experience between people with common interests in sustainable development. Such interaction will enrich the exchange of skills beyond the confines of a formal training program. In this manner Maryut can become an effective link for demonstration, communication and technology transfer, as well as an instrumental part in the cultural and intellectual exchange between people.

Agricultural Demonstration Components

To upgrade the quality of agricultural training conducted at the Center, this project would consist of the following components:

  • Establishing a field site of approximately 2.0 hectares plot equipped with various pressure irrigation systems for demonstration purposes. This unit represents the land area typically allocated for a graduate family farm.
  • Constructing fully equipped training greenhouses (up to 0.5 hectares) including controlled-growing tables, and computer-controlled irrigation and fertilization systems, to enable practical training in computer-mediated greenhouse cultivation practices.
  • Adding a meteorological station with an on-line data gathering system to instruct trainees on the basics of data collection and analysis while supplying data to other training activities at the Center.
  • Acquiring additional equipment, including at least two computer labs with 12-15 work stations per classroom, and a central audio-visual system for classroom presentations.

Regional Information Network

An additional element of the Maryut proposal is the development of a regional information network originating from GARPAD's central data base. A program is underway to create a network for agricultural information between Egypt's main university centers. The Center at Maryut could serve as a field-level extension station for this network. This system would later be linked on-line to other similar systems in the region to facilitate interaction between institutions actively engaged in regional development. The network would also serve as a support system for policy makers by supplying data and monitoring advancement of various development programs.

Center for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurial Promotion

With the growing attention on the role of small businesses and micro-enterprise sectors in economic development, there exists the need to promote small business development in rural settlements. Assistance should focus on developing the institutional structure, by strengthening local organization, and delivering training and advisory services directly to small business operators and entrepreneurs.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) have received renewed attention as an alternative combining both features. SBDCs provide training, advisory services, and other specialized assistance to small-scale entrepreneurs, while serving as a hub for information on other resources in the community.

A pivotal function of the SBDC is to access the policy and regulatory environment in which small enterprises operate, the cultural and social characteristics of the client group, and the specific services entrepreneurs require. Assessments should also identify constraints hindering small enterprise growth, as well as niches in which small businesses can have a competitive edge.

The SBDCs should, in addition, focus on developing human resources through specially designed training programs for particular groups, including university graduates, women, youth, the unemployed, etc. The International Center could serve as a headquarters for activities in this area, including:

  • Conducting workshops to introduce the networking component to small businesses
  • Establishing a Small Business Center to serve the Nubariya development region
  • Promoting joint projects between small businesses in Egypt, Israel and other countries of the region.

Estimated Budget for Maryut International Center Activities

Item Cost (in thousand US $) Remarks

Item Cost (in thousand US $) Remarks
Computerized learning facilities 300 15 work stations per classroom
Audio-visual equipment 150  
Computerized information network 150 for greenhouse activities and other production practices and information
Greenhouse learning facilities 220 including equipment
Open field irrigation demonstration 85 irrigation systems for two-hectare open field demonstration unit
Meteorological station 75 computer operated
Operational inputs 200  
Regional information system 200  
Center for small businesses 150  
Total 1,530  

These figures represent best estimates for required capital investments and some initial start-up operating costs.


II. Belal Village Rural Demonstration Project

General Overview and Project Objectives

Belal Village is located approximately 80 kilometers south of Alexandria and 50 miles north of the Maryut International Center in the new lands reclamation area. This village is included in Egypt's graduate settlement program and is scheduled to be inhabited within the coming months. The project aims at establishing a planned, economically sustainable, agricultural-based village community.

The objective of this project is to develop a sustainable irrigated agricultural-based village for approximately 200 families. Irrigated agricultural production will take place on 1000 feddans of arable land, based on five-feddan plots. The underlying planning concept combines developing individual farm ventures with larger group structures of organized agricultural and agribusiness activities, in order to take advantage of entrepreneurial incentives and realize economies of scale in agricultural production. Both individual as well as group and production-branch oriented activities are promoted within this framework.

The proposed project should be considered as a focal demonstration development activity that demonstrates sustainable income-generating activities. This is to be attained through the utilization of appropriate technologies, improved inputs, post harvest facilities, marketing and management.

Belal Village Soil Classification

I. The International Center for Training and Development at Maryut
Center for Training and Development for Agricultural Support Services on New Lands was established in 1969, in Maryut, a town located on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road, approximately 40 kilometers, south of the city of Alexandria. It is situated in the heart of the recently reclaimed areas of the West Delta, in the Nubariya New Land Development Region.

The Center is well equipped to conduct intensive and diversified agricultural training programs. It provides the necessary institutional base for offering the training and demonstration services needed by the new settlers to become productive farmers in the shortest possible time. Campus facilities include buildings for practical and theoretical training, accommodations for up to 500 trainees, administration offices, classrooms, dining hall, staff residence and recreational facilities.

This project is designed to upgrade and expand the existing infrastructure of the Center.

While initially oriented to the needs of the Egyptian farmers settling on newly reclaimed arid lands, the Center will be designed to accommodate trainees and instructors from countries facing similar development challenges. The Center may serve as a regional, international training facility for the exchange of information, ideas, and experience between people with common interests in sustainable development. Such interaction will enrich the exchange of skills beyond the confines of a formal training program. In this manner Maryut can become an effective link for demonstration, communication and technology transfer, as well as an instrumental part in the cultural and intellectual exchange between people.

Agricultural Demonstration Components

To upgrade the quality of agricultural training conducted at the Center, this project would consist of the following components:

Establishing a field site of approximately 2.0 hectares plot equipped with various pressure irrigation systems for demonstration purposes. This unit represents the land area typically allocated for a graduate family farm.

Constructing fully equipped training greenhouses (up to 0.5 hectares) including controlled-growing tables, and computer-controlled irrigation and fertilization systems, to enable practical training in computer-mediated greenhouse cultivation practices.

Adding a meteorological station with an on-line data gathering system to instruct trainees on the basics of data collection and analysis while supplying data to other training activities at the Center.

Acquiring additional equipment, including at least two computer labs with 12-15 work stations per classroom, and a central audio-visual system for classroom presentations.
Regional Information Network

An additional element of the Maryut proposal is the development of a regional information network originating from GARPAD's central data base. A program is underway to create a network for agricultural information between Egypt's main university centers. The Center at Maryut could serve as a field-level extension station for this network. This system would later be linked on-line to other similar systems in the region to facilitate interaction between institutions actively engaged in regional development. The network would also serve as a support system for policy makers by supplying data and monitoring advancement of various development programs.

Belal Village Soil Classification


Project Features

Villagers will formulate legal and management systems to establish cooperatives or producers' associations. Individual rights to the specific 5-feddan land unit allocated to the farmer will be preserved. Larger scale production operations will involve activities of grouped family holdings in specialized branch activities, such as tree crops, vegetables, greenhouses, dairy, etc. Post-harvest treatment, marketing, packaging and distribution will also be organized as group or partnership activities.

Government Support

GARPAD and other Egyptian authorities will lend administerial and technical support for a period of 3-5 years. The technical cooperation component will be based on a specific joint project management unit, focusing on a selected core of activities in different production branches. Resources of about 30-40 family units will be developed as the initial demonstration core farms for the overall village development. Other elements of technical assistance will include support services, as well as training and management courses in a wide range of relevant topics.

Selection of Candidates

Since the proposed project combines both individual and branch operations, selection of candidate settlers will take into consideration specific requirements related to the complex socio-economic nature of the program. Experiences from past settlement programs in Egypt, Israel and other parts of the world will be examined and employed in implementation of the project.

Main Project Components

The proposed production services and infrastructure developments are based on existing facilities as well as on planned facilities designed in accordance with Egypt's new land settlements programs.

Planning parameters and conditions

Planned and existing infrastructure and administrative facilities include:

  • Physical location of the village;
  • The village's architectural design;
  • Municipal and social services;
  • Main water supply system (Branch 20);
  • Two secondary water supply systems for irrigation, including the main pump (3 units) and smaller pump units (17 units);
  • Individual family land units of 5 feddan each;
  • Land parcelation maps;
  • Soil type and quality;
  • General governmental, institutional and other support systems.

Production and Branch Activities

Production activities will be based on the primary production resources and infrastructure existing in the village. Economic activities will encompass agricultural cultivation, agri-industrial enterprises and services which contribute to the profitability and the value added output of the individual farmer and the village at large. Main branches include: pressurized irrigated agriculture, including greenhouse and high-tunnel cultivation of fruits and vegetables; specialized orchard cultivation; animal husbandry, including dairy and small ruminants; post-harvest treatment and semi-processing for added value income. Production activities are envisioned to include a central pilot aquaculture facility as well as other agricultural support systems to assist income-generating activities.

Operational group and other centralized or combined enterprise management systems are recommended to realize economies of scale.

2.1 Water Supply System

Crop cultivation will involve the employment of Pressure Irrigated Agriculture.

Soils in the project area are primarily sandy soils with pockets of granulated hard calcium. An initial soil evaluation indicates salinity levels with E.C. up to 52.6 milimho/cm and an average of 10-15 milimho/cm. Natrium rates reach 280 mili equivalent/liter and an average Hi/L pH. Calcium content is at acceptable levels. Further evaluations of soil conditions at the project site will be conducted. A partial solution to soil quality can be attained by introducing intensive water bleaching, using approximately 40,000 m3 per feddan.

Given climatic conditions of the area and the specific nature of soil, pressure irrigation planning must take into consideration several important parameters:

  • sandy soils require daily irrigation;
  • high daily evapo-transpiration of 42 m3/feddan;
  • maintaining individual block allocations and parcelation system;
  • maximum flexibility in irrigation pattern;
  • maintaining existing pumps discharge and main water supply system;
  • 21-23 hours per day required pump operation;
  • required rate of irrigation for the various crop types:
Crop Rate of Irrigation
Vegetables 25 mm/h/feddan
Tree crops 3.9 mm/h/feddan
Forage 29.2 mm/h/feddan


The irrigated area of the project is divided into two, separately serviced irrigation systems.

The first area consists of 670 feddan supplied by 34 pumps of 45 m3/h per unit. Of the 670 feddans, 338 feddan are orchards, while 332 feddan are used for vegetable cultivation. Each pump services a block of 20 feddan. The irrigation system can be designed to be controlled by a central computer unit in order to optimize irrigation flexibility and effectiveness through sequential irrigation at various pre-set intervals.

The second irrigated area is supplied by a different system comprising three main pumping stations.

2.2 Dairy and Sheep Production

The proposed program involves the development of approximately 40 family dairy units. This represents a core herd of about 400 milkers and 250-300 heffers and other young stock. Each individual farm unit will be comprised of approximately 10 milkers and 7 younger stock. At full development, each unit will require fodder supply drawn from the available 5 feddan irrigated area as well as supplementary feed.

The proposed dairy units will be geographically concentrated in order to realize economies of scale. Dairy units will be located adjacent to the village, to ensure proximity of the farmer's dwelling to the dairy unit.

Production activities will include milking and feeding facilities ( approximately 150 m2) as well as a milking system line or portable machine (fenced area 100-150 m2).

Phased development is proposed. Each unit will initially have a core dairy herd of 5 milkers and 3-4 younger cattle. At this initial stage, feed requirements will be met by 1300-1500 tons provided by the land units. Production output at this stage is estimated at 3000 liter per milker and 2-3 heads for meat production.

At the second stage, central feeding services to provide supplemental feeding needs will be established. Annual production at this stage will increase to 5000 liters per milker. Feed requirements are estimated at 3000 ton dry matter from local and other sources. Centrally produced feed will be based on 100 feddan corn, 35 feddan alfalfa and 30 feddan fodder beet. Required supplementary food supply will come to approximately 15,000 tons of grain annually.

Central Feeding Center

This facility will be developed according to the supplementary feed needs of the herds. At full capacity, it will include:

  • Two surface silos of 1000 ton each;
  • Feed mixing machine;
  • Open shed storage for 150 tons;
  • Bridge weight;
  • Two tractors;
  • Grain storage facilities (5-6 units);
  • Office facilities.

This feed center could support a herd of approximately 650 milkers and 450 heifers and other young stock.

Sheep Unit Development

Family units for sheep production would be based on live stock of 80-100 mothers for meat production. Feeding requirements and continuous production operations will require infrastructure investments on a scale similar to that of the proposed dairy herd development.

2.3 Aquaculture Project

This project component is comprised of a centrally operated village fish production facility. It will require about 5 hectares of land and will produce fish from a water surface of approximately 2 hectares.

Two production alternatives can be employed:


Extensive production with an output of 50 tons of fish and estimated $150,000 gross sales.
Intensive production practices, the output of which could reach 150 tons with an estimated $450,000 gross annual sales.
The alternative production practices imply different cost structures, management practices and know-how. Estimated initial capital investment comes to $270,000-300,000.

R&D Activities

Options for R&D activities in the fields of bio-gas, solar driven technologies, waste disposal and recycling systems will be examined.

Production Services

Additional support facilities and services will be developed to facilitate production and management operations. A production and services center that can serve both the Belal and surrounding villages is planned. Facilities will include:

  • general servicing and repair shops;
  • agricultural inputs sales outlet;
  • basic marketing and transport facilities;
  • agri-industrial and processing facilities;
  • dairy processing and cold storage facilities;
  • animal feed center;
  • a weekly market and trading center;
  • water maintenance and supply services.

The center will initially require a land area of about 3-5 feddan and its proposed location is adjacent to the village. Additional infrastructure, including access roads, water, electricity, water supply and waste disposal systems will be required.

Desert Architecture

A demonstration of low-cost desert housing, employing bio-climatic principles, can be developed within the framework of the Belal Village project. These principles aim at improving the living conditions both in and outside buildings by utilizing the natural characteristics of the desert environment: intense solar radiation, clear atmosphere, low humidity, large diurnal amplitude of temperatures, etc. Improved conditions, particularly thermal conditions, can be attained through careful design of the housing complexs as well as through the specific site-dependent building design that may be interwoven with the design of the model complex.

Within the Belal Village, selected units can be upgraded to serve as prototypes. The project would involve collaboration between Egyptian and Israeli design teams. The design procedure will involve technology transfer between the two teams and will complement Egyptian know-how in this field. Architectural supervision will be provided by an Israeli consultant.

Throughout the duration of the project two seminars will be held, one in Egypt and one in Israel, at the Center for Desert Architecture and Urban Planning, where most of the Israeli architectural work and research related to arid land development has been carried out. These seminars will focus on various aspects of desert construction and community design, including low-energy techniques for improving comfort conditions.

Special attention will be given to particular Egyptian needs, both in terms of the social objectives of the Belal Village project and in terms of the cost and size of the buildings. An emphasis will be placed on low -cost housing, utilizing cost-efficient energy saving devices and techniques. Climate-oriented features to the buildings will not raise the cost to a level that would be unsuitable for potential dwellers.

Upon completion, data from the protype units will be monitored, studied and analyzed and conclusions will be disseminated between architects and designers in Egypt, Israel and other arid lands countries. Analysis of the data will include formulation of design guidelines for similar settlements.

Alternatively, a desert architecture demonstration site could be planned and prototype units built at another location.

Economic and Financial Aspects

The proposed project aspires to reach sustainable farm gate prices and income levels. Income levels are expected to allow for operational costs and debt servicing. Estimated income levels will vary, reflecting the different agricultural branches proposed in the project.

III. Plan for Sub-regional Development in the Nubariya Region

For the past 15 years, Israel and Egypt have been cooperating in the Nubariya Region, particularly at Nubaseed and the Abu-Masuad Center, under bilateral and trilateral arrangements. The focus of cooperation has been-in the field of R&D and operational development programs for intensive agriculture in arid ecosystems, with particular emphasis on vegetable and fruit production.

Discussions are presently underway on how to utilize accumulated know-how and experience in order to develop a sub-regional settlement program for graduates, small and medium-scale farmers in the Nubariya Region. Joint Egyptian-Israeli experience on arid zone agriculture will enable both countries to cooperate more effectively in planning a sub-regional settlement program on 150,000 feddan, to be settled primarily by village organized family farms.

The objective of this project is to prepare a sub-regional master plan, incorporating the use of GIS and other advanced planning systems, in order to propose a phased agricultural and rural settlement program based on the integration of agricultural services and processing industries. This program will also relate to urban-rural integration within a spatial plan. In this respect, the selection of the sub-region will likely include the city of Nubariya and other rural growth centers.

The Sub-regional Development Plan envisages the integration of public-supported settlement programs and private sector development. The proposal is in accordance with the policies of the Egyptian government to promote the distribution of land on the basis of up to 60 percent for graduate settlements and at least 40 percent to private initiatives.

Major elements related to the Sub-regional Development Plan include:

  • Agricultural production and other income generating activities;
  • Agricultural services;
  • Agri-business and processing facilities;
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Marketing and distribution systems;
  • Education;
  • Health services;
  • Recreation and community services;
  • Human resource development.

The aim of the Plan is to highlight opportunities and development options. It will specifically detail settlement and agri-business development plans and projects for priority implementation.

Training activities are programmed to be conducted at the Maryut International Training Center, linked to training opportunities in Israel at the Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO) and the Development Study Center (DSC).

The first training program for 25 Egyptian professional studying the principles of comprehensive regional development was successfully held in February 1996 at the Development Study Center in Rehovot. Another course of similar content is scheduled for the latter quarter of this year.

A general development plan may be prepared within a 9-month period. It is estimated that $500,000 will be required for drafting the Plan, the duration of which will be one year.

Implementation of the Sub-regional Development Plan will require multilateral financial support for infrastructure and on-farm development.

IV. Enrichment Training and Society Building Programs

Joint Egyptian-Israeli agricultural training programs have been operating since the 1980s. In the 1990s, these activities increased significantly given their contribution to Egypt's rural development initiative. Funding of $1,200 for 1997 activities has been secured under a trilateral agreement between Israel, Egypt and Denmark.

Further funding is required in order to extend training activities to meet the immediate needs of graduates involved in the resettlement program in Nubariya. A joint GARPAD-MASHAV enrichment program, targeting graduates from a selected farming area on the new lands and students from agricultural faculties located in Alexandria is proposed. These courses will be designed to train participants as local field trainers. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to impart concepts and skills to other leading farmers. This approach creates a high multiplier effect, while enabling the settlers to learn from their neighbors and friends within a classroom setting, as well as in the field.

Joint Egyptian-Israeli training programs focus on an integrative approach to rural development. Courses include practical training in instituting modern practices in arid land farming, society building and community enrichment, entrepreneurship and small business development.

Both theoretical and practical skills are emphasized, including soil and water management, crop varieties and diversification, specifically developed to produce high yields in arid and desert agriculture, computer-controlled agricultural technologies and specialized courses in farm management. Appropriate technologies and support services will also be introduced. Courses on the establishment and management of small business enterprises will benefit both farmers and other settlers in creating commercial centers, agri-industrial enterprises, and locally-based business related services. Professional courses aimed at developing social and community services will complement economic programs, providing a basis for comprehensive rural development in the new settlement areas.

The program will be implemented primarily in Egypt, through the Maryut Center. In addition, it will include the participation of an agreed-upon number of selected trainees in specially designed MASHAV training courses in Israel.

General Courses in Rural Development

One example of a general course in the development of rural settlement areas is given in the box below. Other general courses include a seminar on agricultural economics and marketing and a practical training course on the integration of pressure irrigation in vegetable cultivation (see Appendix Two).

These courses combine academic instruction in general subjects such as marketing, export processes, hydrology and soil sciences with practical exercises in relevant topics. In the course on agricultural economics, for example, the trainee is introduced to the fundamentals of agricultural planning and marketing, and acquires practical planning skills at the farm level. The course on irrigation and vegetable production involves theoretical studies on the relations between soil, water and plant development, as well as a series of practical exercises and projects regarding production and irrigation practices.


Joint Israeli-Egyptian Training Course: "Development of Rural Settlement Areas"

Objectives

To train Egyptian professionals for the preparation of sub-regional development projects in the framework of national objectives and regional programs. The course introduces trainees to the "Rehovot Approach" to rural development and equips them with the tools and techniques for project planning, implementation and evaluation.

Course Elements

The course stresses the need to consider inter-sectoral interactions (agriculture-industry-services), as well as integrating economic, social, environmental and organizational aspects in development planning.

It will be divided into two stages:

  1. A preliminary, theoretical stage, based upon classroom work and field trips carried out in Israel at the Development Study Center (DSC), Rehovot.
  2. An applied field work stage carried out in Egypt, in a sub-region to be decided upon at a later time.
    Course Outline

Principles of the "Rehovot Approach" to rural development

Integrated Sub-regional Development: Strategy and Planning Methodology

  • Economic, social, environmental and organizational aspects of planning
  • Agricultural sector planning
  • Industrial sector planning
  • Services sector planning

Techniques of Analysis and Planning

  • Project formulation
  • Economic and financial analysis of projects
  • Data collection and statistical analysis
  • Project presentation
  • Computer application

Field Work Stage in a Selected Area in Egypt

  • Background briefings
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis and project formulation
  • Project presentation

Specialized Courses

In addition, specialized courses can be given within the framework of the enrichment program in related areas of arid land agriculture and desert settlement. These can include:

crop science: crop production in semi-arid zones, post-harvest storage and physiology, genetic improvement of cultivated species, introduction and selection of new species for semi-arid zones, plant adaptation to environmental stress, influence of stress on the activity of plant cellular and sub-cellular systems.

rangeland and forest management: establishment of perennial pasture by introduction of drought resistant perennial shrubs and herbaceous species, pasture resource management, reforestation with multi-purpose tree species.

animal husbandry for dairy, poultry and small ruminants: physiological responses of desert animals, livestock production in the desert, energy and water budgets of desert animals, reproduction and endocrinology, veterinary medicine.

water resource development and management: runoff agriculture, use of brackish and saline water resources in agriculture and forestry, microbial treatment of wastewater reservoirs and polluted aquifers.

desert biosystems: alternative production systems for arid lands, utilization of brackish water sources, protective structures and environmental controls to produce alternative crops, such as fish, algae, and out-of-season greenhouse crops.

desert meteorology: including measurement of solar radiation, precipitation processes, the interaction between dust and climate, the influence of land surface processes on climate and atmospheric pollution.

solar energy technology: including topics such as measurement and analysis of solar radiation, the design of electric power producing systems (photovoltaic and solar-thermal), and maintenance of solar collectors and other equipment. The Ben Gurion National Solar Energy Center, adjacent to the Institute, is an experimental facility and testing ground for various state-of-the-art solar power generating systems

village cooperation: a course focusing on social aspects of development of arid lands, with an emphasis on the cooperative organization of support services. This course addresses issues faced in many developing nations in Asia and Africa.

vegetable and horticulture production practices and management: both for irrigated open field and greenhouse conditions;

pressure irrigation systems: practical aspects of improved irrigation systems, efficient water use, water-soil-crop relations, crop production practices and soil management.
Desert Architecture

Training activities in desert architecture can be held in both Israel and Egypt. The Center for Desert Architecture and Urban Planning (DAUP) has established a demonstration project at Sde Boker focusing on urban and building design tailored to desert conditions. To support activities proposed in Egypt, seminars, workshops and training design studios can be held. Theoretical topics covered in these workshops and seminars include:

  • Assessment of available desert construction technologies in the Middle East and North Africa;
  • Building and urban design for the desert, with special focus on providing improved comfort conditions through the use of low-energy techniques;
  • Evaluation and introduction of building materials that can be used for increasing thermal comfort in buildings and urban spaces;
  • Design methods and tools, including computer software, graphic tools, for improved design for desert conditions;
  • Monitoring and data analysis techniques from existing buildings and urban environments;
  • Formulation of design concepts for various patterns of urban housing.

Society Building

The development of human resources is an important condition for economic progress and society building. Success of the settlement program is possible only if communities function well socially to advance the general welfare of all its members. Additional projects will therefore be designed to include such enrichment programs as:

Community Education

Community education can be said to make two primary contributions to the social and economic development of a country. As a supplement to general and specialized formal education, the programs provided through community centers, community schools and similar institutions, contribute to the overall development of human resources. Moreover, they help solidify ties between individuals and the community. In addition to cultural enrichment, community education programs can provide the platform for promoting citizenship and youth leadership, fostering involvement in local development and implementing other social projects. They can provide a wide array of programs for residents of settlement areas (see Appendix Three).

Some options for community enrichment training programs include:

  • management of community and family services;
  • management of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs);
  • training and supervision of para-professionals;
  • early childhood education with emphasis on the family and the community;
  • gender and community development; community development and organization of rural cooperatives.

Training Courses for Community Education Personnel

Courses can be developed for community center personnel in the new settlements, including subject area coordinators, program counsellors, and administrative personnel.

Possible course subjects could focus on practical training, including:

  • enrichment courses for area coordinators including general orientation courses as well as courses in various specializations, such as art, music, sports, pre-school education, etc.;
  • training courses for program counsellors;
  • courses and symposia for managers and key personnel;
  • training courses for administrative personnel.

Women in the Development Process

Courses designed to include women in community development will also be given:

  • Organization and Management of Micro-Enterprises for Small Communities
  • Women's Leadership Training for Community Development
  • Income-Generating Projects in a Rural Community

Appendix One:
The UN Convention to Combat Desertification

International commitment to the war on desertification was initially formulated at the United Nations Conference on Desertification in 1977 in the Plan of Action to Combat Desertification (PACD). Further deliberations led to inclusion of the subject in the agenda of the "Earth Summit" held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Conference recommended the establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) under the aegis of the UN General Assembly to formulate an international convention on the subject of desertification and drought. "Agenda 21", the working document stemming from the Conference, presents a series of recommendations for dealing with desertification in the 21st century, including programs addressing problems of land and water management as well as vital social issues related to desertification. Since the 1992 Summit, an international Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), identifying five areas of global commitment has been adopted and signed by 150 countries and will enter into force in 1997. Designated areas of global commitment include: research and preservation, technology transfer and cooperation, capacity building, coordination with existing conventions, and the use of financial resources.

The CCD specifies a series of obligations for both affected country and developed country Parties to the Convention.

  • Article 6 of the Convention stipulates that developed countries undertake to actively support the efforts of developing country Parties to combat desertification and to promote and facilitate access by affected country Parties to appropriate technology, knowledge and know-how.
  • Article 8 states that the Parties to the Convention will encourage the conduct of joint projects, particularly in the fields of research, training, systematic observation and information collection and exchange.
  • Policies which and institutional frameworks which develop cooperation and coordination between the donor community, governments at all levels, local populations and community groups and which facilitate access to appropriate information and technology are to be incorporated into the National and Sub-regional Action programs outlined in Articles 10 and 11 of the Convention.
  • Articles 17-19 deal with the subjects of Research and Development, Technology Transfer and Capacity Building, Education and Public Awareness. The importance of developing local skills, developing training and research capacity, conducting joint research programs, and establishing or strengthening support and extension services is underscored in these Articles of the Convention.
    Participation by the donor community in programs to further desert reclamation in Egypt can be said to satisfy obligations undertaken in the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Donor countries can co-sponsor joint Egyptian-Israeli projects in R&D, training and extension programs. These activities can also be incorporated as part of sub-regional action plans to combat desertification.

Appendix Two:
Course Profiles for Graduate Settlers Training Program

1. Economics and Marketing in Agriculture

1.1 Aspects of agricultural planning

1.2 Introduction to marketing

1.3 Structure of marketing systems

1.4 Price policies and pricing of agricultural commodities

1.5 The process of agricultural export

1.6 Project preparation for farm planning

  • production planning
  • production resources and constraints
  • calculation of crop budgets
  • overall farm planning
  • economic evaluation and farm models

2. Vegetable Production and Pressure Irrigation

2.1 Vegetable varieties and production practices

2.2 Soil-water-plant relations

2.3 Salinity problems

2.4 Introduction to soil texture and root zone water balance

2.5 Introduction to irrigation hydraulics

2.6 Pressure irrigation systems

2.7 Drip and sprinkler irrigation practices

2.8 Irrigation and fertilization

2.9 Practical exercises and projects

Appendix Three:
Programming Options for Community Centers and Community Schools

Infant Care

Community centers can organize pre- and post-natal courses on infant care, including one-on-one instruction for new mothers at the mothers' homes. These courses can include general care, infant safety, nutrition, infant development and recognition of symptoms of potential medical and development problH4s.

Toddler Education

The centers can operate training courses for play group (4-5 children) caretakers, as well as organize registration and supervise the operation of these groups. The play groups are held in the trained caretaker's home on a daily basis. The caretaker not only participates in basic training and occasional enrichment courses, but receives toys and educational materials from the center. These play groups supply child care options for working mothers in a familial atmosphere, well suited for this age group.

Pre-school Education

In some Middle Eastern countries, pre-school education is not extensive. Most facilities are privately run and enrollment rates for pre-primary schools are significantly lower than those for primary schools. Community centers can operate day-care and pre-schools at the centers. These centers will not only provide child care for working mothers, but opportunities to advance early child development and social skills prior to enrollment in primary schools.

Elementary School Supplementary Education

A variety of cultural and sports programs can be developed for primary school aged children including: Enrichment courses in arts and crafts, sports, dance, etc.; After-school recreation and homework preparation clubs and workshops; Day camps during school holidays.

Secondary School Age Education and Social Clubs

Programs for junior and high school age children can carry both educational and social content. Some of the options include: Youth leadership courses; Supplemental academic courses (preparation for diploma); Courses teaching rudimentary job skills such as computer and office skills, baby-sitting and child care, children's reaction counsellors, etc; Enrichment courses in sports, plastic and the performing arts; Organization of youth employment services; Organization of youth exchange programs; First aid and CPR.

Adult Education and Activities

Similarly, the potential uses of community centers for continuing adult education are both numerous and varied. Some options include:

  • Literacy skills;
  • High-school equivalency courses;
  • Computer skills;
  • Special-interest groups and social clubs;
  • Foreign language instruction;
  • Organization of special cultural events;
  • Specialized vocational training for the service sector: tourism, retail sales, banking, etc.

Senior Citizens

Activities targeted specifically at senior citizens include organization of activity clubs and volunteer recruitment services. The centers can also organize assistance programs for house-bound senior citizens.

Community Schools

The concept of the community school was conceived as a way in which to improve education and student achievements through the involvement of parents and students in the learning process. Through this involvement, enrichment courses are introduced both during school hours and as extra-curricular activities and special events. While different for each community and for each school, the common denominator in the program is cooperation between parents, students, school personnel, and even other community organizations towards a more participatory mode of learning. While the specific programs developed are beneficial, the participatory process used to execute these programs is no less important, contributing to a sense of involvement and creativity amongst participants. The community school program has met with success both within urban neighborhoods and in more remote, and sometimes, isolated localities.

In some communities, the school takes on the functions that a community center would fill in larger urban areas. In addition to specific courses, community school programs also included projects in which older students taught younger students, school children interacted with elderly people in social programs, and parents and students met after school hours at the "clubhouse" organized by the schools. In some places art exhibitions, science fairs and other cultural events were organized through the school. In other instances, the community school format was used to highlight special topics, such as ecology, or organize community programs, such as local theater groups, picnics, and other events.

This option for community education does not necessitate large expenditures in infrastructure, and the initial scope of activities need not necessarily be comprehensive. Programs based on the community school concept can be adapted to virtually any community structure or size and can be developed incrementally in accordance with community needs. The concept can be easily integrated into rural development schemes such as those undertaken in Egypt.


Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs