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Thursday, 16 March 2023

Last Night’s Talk Shows: Of Chadian meat, fertilizer, and overpopulation

It was a light night on the airwave, wrapping up an econ-heavy week. The nation’s talking heads had coverage of the latest meat to hit the Egyptian market and our growing fertilizer production.

Forget Brazilian meat, we now have Chadian meat: All the talk shows were raving about plans to import meat from Chad. Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 3:02), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 3:07) and Masa’a DMC (watch, runtime: 5:47) all had coverage.

A new fertilizer complex got a lot of attention: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated yesterday a new nitrogenous fertilizer complex in Ain Sokhna. The complex currently includes six fertilizer factories with an annual production capacity of 1.7 mn tons, and was constructed by German industrial engineering company Thyssenkrupp and local contractor Petrojet. This is a major jump, Masa’a DMC’s Ramy Radwan says (watch, runtime: 5:25), drawing comparison to 2015 when the nation’s fertilizer production sat at a mere 220k tons a year.

As did agriculture, following comments from the president about the need to increase agricultural land to 12 mn feddans by 2024 from 9.7 mn currently, Radwan said. Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 5:04) had coverage, while Al Hayah Al Youm interviewed Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Mohamed El Kersh (watch, runtime: 4:28).

More on the state’s latest bid to curb population growth: The financial incentives to control the Egyptian population are all inclusive, Planning Minister Hala El Said said during a phone-in with Yahduth Fi Masr (watch, runtime: 4:20 | 3:14), explaining that it won’t be limited to a certain group of people. Earlier this week the Finance Ministry unveiled plans to introduce financial incentives for women not to have more than two children in a bid to manage population growth

Local is global: Following the pandemic and current geopolitical tensions, countries have become more aware of the necessity of not fully relying on imports, El Said said. The government in recent months has placed greater emphasis on developing local supply chains as a means to upgrade industrial production and lower the country’s vulnerability to external shocks.

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