On the 10th of April 2017, the DAAD Cairo office organized an event targeting DAAD Egyptian Alumni, Experts and partners from the field of Agriculture, to meet up with the German Federal Minister of Food & Agriculture, Mr. Christian Schmidt and his parliamentarian Delegation.

In the first part of the event, Dr. Roman Luckscheiter, Director of DAAD Cairo Office, moderated a productive Dialogue between Mr. Schmidt and experts from the circle of Egyptian DAAD alumni and partners in which Mr. Schmidt stressed on the importance of the interdisciplinary research projects and the commitment of the ministry towards such projects.

As for the Sustainable Development Goals, the Ministry focuses not only on food security and the elimination of hunger (Objective 2) but also on responsible and sustainable consumption (Objective 12).

These goals could not be achieved without the institution-spanning cooperation with renowned German universities in the field of agricultural science (Hohenheim, TUM, Giessen etc.), department research institutes (Julius Kühn Institute, Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Max Rubner Institute and Thünen Institute) and the FAO. It’s worth mentioning that DAAD network has a great support in this regard.

From their side, the Egyptian Experts and Scientists were keen to raise and discuss the current challenges and opportunities of the agricultural sector in Egypt with the delegation. The discussion was focusing on specific aspects like, Ground fertility, sustainable agriculture, water management…etc. and on university cooperation level; the training courses for Egyptian students, development of practical study courses…etc. were also discussed.

Mr. Schmidt commented on the different contributions made by the experts and stressed the potential of German-Egyptian research cooperation in the areas of climate change, pest control and food safety.

A plenary session followed the first part of the event, in which more than 130 students from different Egyptian Universities were attending to hear the lecture given by the Federal Minister on "Strengthening the agro-food industry - research and sustainable agricultural development as the driving force behind growth, added value and the key to securing peace".

The Federal Minister gave a detailed insight into the basic lines of German agricultural policy and at the same time an analysis of the Egyptian situation. “Research and know-how transfer through application-oriented teaching are essential keys for practical innovations. With structured agricultural research, not only agricultural productivity can be increased but also water scarcity due to climate change can be countered” as stated by the Federal Minister, Mr. Schmidt, during his lecture.

Mr. Schmidt said it clearly that one of the Ministry goals is developing a special scholarship program through which Egyptian doctoral students can complete part of their education in research facilities provided at the ministry in Germany.

“In this way, we will work together to find answers to the most urgent questions in order to maintain and improve the sustainability, resource efficiency and efficiency of agriculture."