America, Israel and the Gulf in Ethiopia… Milestones on the road to the Renaissance Dam – Karim Malak


Posted in: Friday, September 24, 2021 – 7:55 PM | Last update: Friday, September 24, 2021 – 7:55 PM

In a previous article of mine entitled “The Key to the Water Crisis in Ethiopia… Clover” I touched on several painful but proven facts: that some Arab countries are major players in the Renaissance Dam project, given the many lands they are cultivating in Ethiopia now. Today, I am writing this article in order to narrate the hidden history of the Renaissance Dam issue and its relationship with America, Israel and some Gulf countries. But we start here in Egypt, in Luxor Governorate, with a farmer named “Sami,” one of the beneficiaries of the agricultural support project, according to the USAID’s Facebook page, where the agency works in Egypt through the “feed the future” project to support Farmers to improve the quality and value of their crops in the market by providing “post-harvest technology” and by supporting good international practices such as cleaning, packaging and storing crops. The USAID website says that more than $2.5 million has been invested in Egypt under this project, which has resulted in agricultural sales worth more than $28 million.

It is clear that the “Sami” support program is part of a global food security strategy to which more than $4 billion was allocated in 2010-2013, with the aim of providing a market for agricultural products worldwide by linking the American agricultural market with the rest of the agricultural producing countries. Meaning, this program aims to enhance the potential of farmers around the world in order to double American investments in this field by linking them to the agricultural industry sector in America and its post-crop technology. Those farmers like “Sami” in Luxor received grants and in-kind support to purchase and install a “flexible” pipe irrigation system, i.e., a Polypipe irrigation system, in order to conserve water, but also to connect Egypt’s farmers to the American market producing these pipes.
Apart from Egypt, Ethiopia is among the main partners in the global program to feed the future, as the United States has invested 4 billion dollars in support in the last four years in Ethiopia. The efforts of the United States to control the agricultural sector in Ethiopia come in the hope of turning the country into a development engine for the whole continent. In just 11 years, Ethiopia has achieved amazing results in reducing the poverty rate from 56% in 2000 to 30% in 2011 as a result of its investments in the agricultural sector. This plan is also part of an initiative to eradicate hunger in areas that suffer from severe drought in the Benishangul Gomez area next to the Renaissance Dam. Sow a germ, then grow it and recycle its seeds, but where do the seeds come from?
It actually comes from the laboratories of American companies, where several major agricultural companies are using genetic engineering technology to alter the genes of crops in order to maximize crop size, or productivity in an alternate environment or, in some cases, seedless fruit production, which requires more seeds from the Producing company. This causes more concern about Egypt’s cooperation in these initiatives, as there are studies confirming that scientists who participate in the American program “Feed the Future” have been questioned by their government, for fear that the local market for seeds and seeds will be flooded with modified seeds that have health effects. harmful.
But it is not only the United States that works with Ethiopia in the field of seeds and seeds. Perhaps the most important project to support nurseries for strategic fruits and crops is the Trilateral Resilience Enhancement in Ethiopian Lowlands project funded by the German International Development Agency (GIZ) and the Israeli International Development Agency (MASHAV). In the Afar region, located in northeastern Ethiopia on the border with Djibouti, Ethiopias window to the outside world through which it exports. Despite the small size of this project, i.e. one million euros, but its gains are much greater. Through this project, Israel is working to transfer its agricultural experience in water management in the Ethiopian lands vigorously to reclaim drought-stricken lands.
The TREE project is very different from the Tigray government’s land reclamation project. The Tigray region, in which about 4.3 million people live, is considered a dryland compared to the Ethiopian lowlands, which means that its inhabitants are exposed to famine, especially after suffering from systematic marginalization by the current Ethiopian government, which expropriated their lands. Few fertile in the region of Alwalgait. But despite this, the Tigray government achieved great success in agricultural reclamation operations until it won the Gold Future Policy Award in 2017, an award organized by the World Future Council and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. The Tigray government won the huge project it started in 1991 to reclaim and cultivate its lands. Although the TREE project did not enter the scope of the Tigray governorate, we, as readers, cannot compare the difference between the efforts of the Tigray government, as its citizens were obligated to volunteer 20 days a year to move soil and reclaim land near them, in exchange for the work of foreign development agencies to introduce crops and equipment Foreign agricultural and Israeli citizens volunteered in the lands of Ethiopia as part of a cultural exchange program, all in order to grow crops that this country needs, but does not prefer to grow them on its lands so as not to disturb the balance of its water resources.
Which leads us to our last stop in the lands of the Toshka project in Aswan Governorate, when the Gulf countries tried to exploit these lands before migrating to Ethiopia. Despite the huge investments made by the state to supply water to the Toshka area, the companies that contracted for the project lands did not fulfill their contractual obligations. Specifically, despite its claim to use Toshka lands to grow strategic crops such as wheat and corn, some of these Gulf companies, such as the Gulf Kingdom Agricultural Development Company (KADCO), to which 100,000 feddans were allocated, concluded several agreements to supply fruit crops to Europe and America such as grapes and dates, along with the commodity. The basic needs that the Gulf countries need to feed their livestock: Alfalfa Hijazi. In May 2000, the Kingdom Agricultural Development Company concluded an agreement with one of the largest fruit sellers in California: Sun World, to grow fruits and vegetables for export to the United States.
But after 2011 the company automatically announced that it would give up most of what was not reclaimed and cultivated on about 75% of the entire land, leaving itself with only 25,000 feddans. Not only did this happen. On February 9, 2011, the General Assembly of the Fatwa and Legislation Department issued a fatwa indicating the suspicion of invalidity of the land allotment contract in Toshka for Al Dahra Gulf Company as well as a result of large differences in calculating the sale price of the land. Soon, a case was filed, after which it demanded the nullification of the contract to allocate the hundred acres of Toshka, similar to the case of the land of Toshka in 2010. Apart from the issues that showed that the contract allowed the two companies the right to import different seeds and seeds, things turned when the lands of these companies were withdrawn according to Resolution No. 337 of 2019 and then Resolution 621 of 2020 which re-allocated these lands to the National Service Projects Organization after it acquired the Kingdom Company for Agricultural Development In 2017.
So the lesson learned is that exporting water in the form of certain crops is part of a long-term plan to feed some rich countries and raise their share of water. The danger in this plan is the export and granting of agricultural support and expertise in the form of seeds and exotic seeds to the environment of the Nile Valley with higher productivity, especially tropical crops such as avocado, which is called green gold because of its high price, but these crops bring many health and security risks because of the dependency relationship they constitute Between those countries in the north and poor countries that are losing control of their food sovereignty, just as there was a plan to harness the waters of the Nile in Egypt for the benefit of certain countries before 2011, there is a similar plan in Ethiopia, but what was hidden in this project was greater.

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