President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said halting encroachments on arable land represents a "national security issue" as a large number of Egypt's population work in the agricultural sector.
He said "If we fail to achieve self-sufficiency we will have to import the products we need with hard currency and this burdens the national economy."
Sisi made the remarks on Monday 27/9/2021 while commenting on a speech delivered by Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Sayyed Quseir during the inauguration of a wastewater treatment plant in Bahr el Baqar
The plant is the largest of its kind in the world.
Sisi underlined the importance of improving the quality and efficiency of irrigation systems in view of the amount of water that reaches Egypt.
He said developing the agricultural sector will help in achieving self-sufficiency and reducing imports, adding that agricultural lands will increase if water was used wisely.
He referred to lining canals at a cost of about EGP 80 billion with the aim to improve the supply of water to agricultural lands.
He stressed "We all work to serve the nation's interests," adding that any negative practices would not be acceptable or condoned.
The president called on all officials, including governors and security chiefs, not to keep mum or inactive about any violations.
He added that building a state requires firmness, dedication and discipline.