KADCO Aims at Cultivating 10,500 Feddans in Toshka in 2014
Published Wednesday, 20 June 2012 08:49 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
The Kingdom Agricultural Development Company (KADCO) announced that it targets to add 6,500 feddans to its cultivated land in its Toshka Project, its area of which currently stands at 4,000 feddans, after the water pump station begins operation during the fourth quarter of 2014. It added that KADCO currently embarks on laying down designs necessary to operate the station.
KADCO’s expansion blueprint is set according to a schedule and Egypt’s political events did not affect these plans for food occupies first place worldwide, said Daniel Leroux, KADCO CEO and Member of the Board of Directors. KADCO will pump giant investments to implement the target plan that includes reclamation of lands and expansion in cultivation of some existing crops whether fruit or field crops, KADCO CEO added.
Leroux pointed out that the number of the project permanent employees increased to 140 and there are 200-900 seasonal workers according to requirements. He noted that KADCO not only expands in cultivating vegetables and fruits only, but also crops that provide fodder as well as plantation of grains, which will provide new job opportunities in the future.
KADCO CEO highlighted that the company provides accommodation and food for all employees in its project in Toshka and permanent workers enjoy medical insurance and transportation allowance, alongside other privileges thus making their salaries relatively higher than those in Delta.
Leroux unveiled that KADCO produces 800 tons of grapes per year and there is a plan to cultivate another 60 feddans in 2012 with new varieties that are cultivated earlier to elongate the season. He explained that around 600 tons of this production is exported to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Scandinavian countries, Eastern Europe and Sudan, while 200 tons have been displayed in Egypt to meet local market needs.
Cultivating grapes faces great challenges and requires special care in its plantation including having qualified workers for being a labor-intensive agriculture, as well as constant observation of humidity perfect level to combat dry climate and harvesting the yield at night to avoid its dryness in the morning, he added. According to Leroux, finally the grapes must be taken in refrigerated containers from the farm to the client to keep them cool all the time, adding cultivating grapes is usually high in cost.
He went on by saying that it is not easy to deal with Toshka due to the climate and soil. Twelve years ago, KADCO upgraded its expertise to deal with such matters and we still resort to some foreign experts to make sure that we are doing everything on time and that the fertilization and irrigation processes are carried out perfectly, he concluded.