SDSU to Head Agriculture Research Project in Egypt

Times Staff Writer

San Diego State University has been named to carry out a $2-million U. S. government program for joint agricultural research among scientists from Israel, Egypt and the United States.

The grant, from the U. S. Agency for International Development (AID), also involves the Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation of Chicago, with which San Diego State administrators drafted the original program outline.

Under the two-year program, scientists will develop an area in Egypt’s western desert for agricultural production. Scientists from the three countries will work together at a site between Cairo and Alexandria to develop three farm prototypes and suitable crops to be grown on the farms.

San Diego State sociology professor Mohamed El-Assal will coordinate the program. He already oversees an $8.75-million agricultural program for arid lands research among the three nations, now in its seventh year. The university also received a $16-million contract last year from AID to improve technical skills among Egyptian farmers and agricultural researchers.


“We feel that this (latest) project is especially significant in that it strengthens research ties between Egypt and Israel at a time when such continuing interchange may play an important role in furthering such cooperative efforts in the Middle East,” said David L. Moore, an official with the San Diego State University Foundation, which will handle the grant.

“The project is also significant for its potential in helping Egypt to produce an adequate food supply for one of the world’s fastest-growing populations.”