Egypt is during the Dutch winter and spring an important exporter of horticultural crops such as green beans, sweet pepper, tomatoes, strawberries and cucumbers. These crops obviously require water, which is a fairly scarce resource in Egypt (as in many other countries).
The Ministry of Economic Affairs subsidizes in the framework of the ‘Topsector Horticulture and Propagation Materials’ a collaborative project between Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, HortiMaX and the sweet pepper farm AllGreen in Egypt, in which the water use efficiency is improved. The second element of the project concerns the introduction of biological crop protection in collaboration with Koppert and BioEgypt.
Staff of Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture weekly provide long-distance cultivation support, making use of computer data bases, a video connection and illustrative photographs of the crop. Many other climate and cultivation management issues besides fertigation are dealt with, such as heating (also during the Egyptian winter!), screening, vegetative/generative growth, maturation, etc. Production and product quality are improved in this manner, increasing export possibilities.
Knowledge spread and up-scaling to other farms are envisaged after this first season. The involvement of the Netherlands horticultural sector with the Egyptian one can then be strengthened.