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Ministry's History

Origin and development of Ministry's structure
In 1875 a supreme Decree has been issued to establish the first Administration (Ministry/Nizarah) of agriculture, the tasks of which have been first entrusted to a French person and it has supervised over councils called "Agricultural Inspection Councils". The major purpose of the Administration has been to stress on the improvement of cultivation, development of agricultural resources and distribution of irrigation water, the matter that lead to the increase of the cultivated land from Four million Feddans to around Five million Feddans.

In view of the ups and downs of the state of agriculture in Egypt, it was decided in 1880, to merge agricultural affairs into the Administration (Nizarah) of Works, where agricultural mandates were entrusted to a council namely, the Agricultural Council.

With the entrance of the British occupation in 1882, interest has been increased towards the expansion of the cultivated area and the supply of irrigation water through construction of barrages and digging of canals; hence, Aswan Reservoir and Zefta Barrage have been constructed in 1902, and Esna barrage in 1909, to attain the following objectives:
First: raising the unit area productivity of cash crops, particularly cotton so as to increase its exports accordingly to UK factories and keeping Egypt as a farm to Lancashire plants. Thus, UK has had the greatest share of such exports (two thirds of the Egyptian cotton exports).
Second: Undermining the trend towards industrialization to keep Egypt as a market to British manufactured products.

Third: Linking the financial status of the Egyptian farmer and the overall national economy with the status of cotton production; negatively in the case of production deficit, and positively in the case of increase in production and quality improvement.
That policy has lead to initiate the importation of wheat from abroad due to the conversion of large areas of land to the cultivation of cotton instead of wheat.

The development of importance of cotton has kept on until post World War I, where Egyptian economy has become completely dependant on it, to the extent that farmer's financial and social obligations have been dependant on the state of cotton cultivation in Egypt.

On the 10th of November 1910, the Egyptian government has issued Law No. 34 concerning the creation of the first Department of Agriculture, to be affiliated to the Public Works Administration (Nizarah), which the most important mandates have been to improve cotton seeds and the development of cotton varieties characterized by immunity against fungal diseases, improved quality and purity.

On the 20th of November 1913, the Supreme Decree has been issued to establish the first Ministry of Agriculture.
On the 2nd of February 1924, the Administrative Decree No. 252 has been issued to have Arabic as the official language of transactions instead of English language which was used in the Ministry.
In 1938, Egyptian officials have been recruited for the first time in that Ministry as major posts were being reserved to British Officials before that time.

On the 4th of February 1944, the first department has been created in the Ministry according to the Ministerial Decree No. 774, namely, "Department of Animal Resources", and on the 22nd of December 1949, the Royal Decree has been issued, dividing the ministry structure into 6 departments, then a Ministerial Decree No. 993 on the 4th of January 1950 has followed, to articulate the departments as follows:
Crop Protection Dept., Agriculture Dept., Horticulture Dept., Agricultural Economics and Legislation Dept., Agrarian Culture Dept., Veterinary Medicine Dept.

During the second half of the twentieth century and after the 1952 revolution, attention to agricultural sector has been kept on for the development and progress of that significant sector. Egypt has become known in implementing huge irrigation projects; the construction of the High Dam, which has contributed to attain water security to Egypt has started in 1960, this has allowed to implementing horizontal development projects and the on going expansion of the cultivated area due to safe circulation of irrigation water.
During that period most of agrarian legislations have been issued such as the Law of Agrarian Reform and the Law of Agriculture No. 53 in 1966.
In 1957, a new structure of the Ministry of Agriculture has been made, conforming to which new departments and divisions were created such as the Division of Foreign Agricultural Relations, which has been modified once more in 1958.
In July 1974, a Presidential Decree on the organization of the Ministry of Agriculture has been issued to include 6 integrated sectors as follows: Minister's Office Sector to include conventional advisory bodies, Secretary and Technical Affairs; Sector of Planning, Follow-up, Evaluation, Financial Analysis and Costing; Sector of Animal Resources and Veterinary Services; Sector of Land Reclamation; Sector of Service Directorates in the governorates; Sector of General Secretary to include General Departments of Financial, Administrative and Legal Affairs.

On the 17th of October 1979, the Ministerial Decree No. 578, concerning the organizational structure of the Ministry of Agriculture was issued, defining the general structure of the General Office of the Ministry with twelve (12) Undersecretaries, to every one of which a technical office besides a general secretary office should be attached. The twelve Undersecretaries include: Undersecretary for the Minister's Office, Undersecretary for Foreign Agricultural Relations, Undersecretary for Agricultural Extension, Undersecretary for Services and Agricultural Cooperation, Undersecretary for Engineering Affairs, Undersecretary for Agricultural Economics and Marketing, Undersecretary for Pest Control, Undersecretary for Horticulture and Vegetables, Undersecretary for Administrative Development, Undersecretary for Animal Production, Undersecretary for Fish Production and Aquaculture, and Undersecretary for Animal Health.

On the 28th of April 1980, the Decree No. 199 was issued to articulate the general departments and subdivision of every department.
In 1996, the Presidential Decree No. 31 was issued to merge the General Office of the Ministry of Agriculture to the General Office of the Ministry of Land Reclamation under the name of "Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation"; it was then organized by the Presidential Decree No. 162 in 1996 as follows:

  1. The General Office of the Ministry
  2. The Egyptian Agricultural Authority
  3. General Authority for Fish Resources Development
  4. General Authority for Veterinary Services
  5. General Authority for Reconstruction and Agricultural Development
  6. General Authority for Agricultural Equilibrium Fund
  7. General Authority for Agrarian Reform
  8. General Authority for the High Dam Lake Development
  9. Agricultural Research Centre
  10. Desert Research Centre
  11. The Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit
  12. The Executive Agency for Land Improvement Projects
  13. Cotton Improvement Fund
  14. Cattle Insurance Fund
  15. Reclaimed Lands Fund