Head of EU Delegation to Egypt support the Improvement of Agricultural Research in Egypt
Ambassador Ivan Surkoš, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt, participated on Tuesday 19 September in the closure event in Cairo for the twinning project "Support the Improvement of Agricultural Research in Egypt through the Modernisation of the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC)".
"Research, as a driver of innovation, has a key role to play to ensure continuous agricultural production gains and to increase the competitiveness of the agricultural products in both domestic and international markets," said Ambassador Surkoš. He highlighted the fact that the EU has been – and continues to be – an important development partner of Egypt's agricultural sector with a total contribution of over 200 million Euros in the last 20 years.
The scope of the twinning project was to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural research in Egypt by consolidating the legal basis and strengthening the coordination and operational capacity of the ARC in accordance with EU best practices.
The event marks the conclusion of this twinning project funded by the EU, with a total budget of 1.4 million Euros. The project started mid-2015 and was managed by the Programme Administration Office (PAO) of the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation in the framework of the Support to the Association Agreement Programme (SAAP). Implementation took the form of a partnership between the Agricultural Research Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and counterpart institutions from France, leading partner, Italy and the Netherlands. During this long term institutional cooperation project, expert missions from European administrations took place to support ARC experts. Egyptian experts also visited institutions in the different European partners’ countries.
In line with this objective, the project has achieved its expected results, among which:
• The regulatory framework of the ARC has been enhanced with proposals for a new Presidential Decree and new executive regulations, in line with EU best practices;
A new strategy has been adopted, together with a reorganisation plan; it recognises the importance of dissemination of research results, and the provision of services by ARC;
• ARC information system has been upgraded, in particular for the management of human resources;
• ARC administrative capacity has been increased, through numerous training sessions.