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Appendix: Personnel & Enrollment


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 Desert Development Center

Professor Emeritus: A. Bishay

Acting Director: M. Sabbah

Desert Agriculture:
S. Faizy (Soil and Fertilization), S. Harron (Nematology), M. Ibrahim (Pesticide Chemistry), M. Megahed (Agroforestry), S. Mahmoud (Animal Husbandry), M. Adam Omar (Fodder and field Crops), H. Saif-Al-Nassr (Plant Pathology), M. Sedky (Medicinal and Aromatic), A. Shaheen (Pomology), H. El-Sheemy (Soil Science), M. El-Turkey (Ornamentals), Maha A. Hassan (Microbiology).

Desert Technology: A. Belal (Tissue Culture), M. Ebeid (Desert Housing), S. Fath-Allah (Farm Mechanization), S. Isamel (Farm Irrigation Systems), M. Sabbah (Agricultural & Post Harvest Engineering).

Desert Community: M. El-Amir (Agricultural Economics), A. AL-Bendary (Gender Issues), D. Cole (Anthropology), M. Nawar (Rural Sociology, Ali Ibrahim (Ag. Economist)

The AUC Desert Development Center (DDC) was established in 1979. The mission of DDC is basically to serve the desert community and allied activities and to "improve the social and economic well-being of new desert settlers, through the use of research, training and related activities which integrate among agriculture, renewable energy and community aspects in order to achieve sustainability through increased productivity, profitability, diversity, of output and conservation of natural resources.

DDC has adopted Several major strategic issues among which are:

    1. Desert farming systems and practices under scarce resources for clean and safe food production.
    2. Water-use and management under different desert farming system.
    3. Environmental impacts of desert developmental activities.
    4. Training of current and potential desert settlers and investors.
    5. Maintaining post-harvest quality
    6. Desert housing and green architecture
    7. Socio-economic aspects of desert inhabitants.
    8. Utilization of renewable energy in desert communities.

Research Activities

Current research activities at the DDC can be described under four categories as follows:

Externally-funded Research Projects:

Externally funded research projects constitute one of the pillars for the DDC self-finance and reputation. For a long-time, these funds have constituted the major source of DDC budget, along with the DDC core budget from the AUC.

    Current Projects:

    • Production and characteristics of Casuarina Plants Inoculated with Frankia (French AID through MOA)
    • Institutional Framework for Poverty Alleviation and Abatement of Environmental Degradation in Rural Egypt (Ford Foundation)
    • Assessment and Promotion of Water Users Associations in Egypt (IDRC)
    • Agricultural Development of Shabab Area, R&D Program (Private Sector –The Sixth of October Company for Agricultural Projects)
    • Socio-economic Baseline Survey in the New Lands of East Delta. (World Bank)

Collaborative Research and Development Programs:

The long stand of DDC in applied and adaptive research has qualified the center to move forward to become an effective partner in the immediate development programs of desert communities, initiated by the government or by the private sector. In this context, and in the recent years starting in1996, DDC has initiated and been promoting the opportunity for collaborative research and development activities with other institutions, private sectors, universities, centers and others, who have similar interests in and concerns of desert development means. Examples of current collaborative activities are:

  • Collaboration with AGHA KHAN Foundation (May 1997-2004). Field propagation of several varieties of ornamentals in South-Tahrir for establishing a National Park in the old city of Cairo.
  • A major collaborative research and development program was initiated between DDC/AUC and the Sixth of October Company for Agricultural Projects to develop Shabab area, West Suez Canal. (January 1999-April 2002).
  • Cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the GTZ in a National Project of Improvement of Citrus Production in Egypt. (January 1999 to 2009).
  • Cooperation with the Central Laboratory for Agricultural Climate / ARC / MOA. A climate Station will be erected on DDC South Tahrir site, to monitor and analyze micro-climate data and to be used mainly for studying and simulating growth rate and performance of plants, insects population dynamics, any diseases and monitor any micro-climate changes. (2001-on).

Post-Graduate Research Programs:

The DDC/AUC accepts national and international post-graduate students to carry out part or all of their research using its facilities, provided that the topics fit the DDC research agenda.

In-House Research Programs:

In-house research programs encompass research activities that make use of the personnel capabilities and research facilities for solving direct problems, conducting experiments trials, and testing new approaches or methodologies. Mostly, this type of research is considered a seed project and does not need excess budgeting and if it does, it should be minimal. The outcome of these researches is usually used as preliminary investigations for large scale funded projects. Up to 30 in-house research activities are being conducted.


DDC has established itself a unique training center, and an excellent reputation in the area of desert development. It has been recognized by International and National Agencies; governmental and non-governmental as well as universities, research centers, and individuals.

Training at the DDC has become a major activity and a main source for DDC self-finance.

National Training Programs for University Graduates on Desert Development

It has been realized that Egypt's success in extending the desert development revolution to all intended desert reclaimed areas and communities, and in accelerating the effectiveness of the national program, depends, in large part, on its ability to produce substantial numbers of people who believe in national goals who command basic desert farming skills and who are well grounded in desert agricultural technology. Such competent, action-oriented desert agriculture workers and leaders can be produced through appropriately and purposely designed training programs.

The DDC/AUC, with its long experience and farsighted vision, was recognized for the job, and was granted four million U. S. Dollars by the PL 416-B-USDA through the MOA to establish a training center to serve the national purpose. Two phases of training programs have been developed and offered by the center, a pre-settlement Program (93-94) and a Post-settlement Program (99-02).

Short Evening Training Courses:

This program caters for the needs of working participants. It consists of a series of four-week courses with three-hour instruction/class discussion twice a week (in the evenings) and a full working day the DDC sites every weekend.

The courses and field visits emphasize hands-on experience and deal mainly with practical problems faced by the participants. A total number of 895 participants (men and women) have been enrolled in 29 training courses.

An agreement has been made between DDC ad CACE of the AUC to join in offering a series of training courses on desert agribusiness, agro-industry and different disciplines of desert agricultural technology and practices. The agreement was effective November 1999.

Training Programs of National University students.

DDC has been providing summer and winter hands-on training programs on desert development to National Universities students since 1998, as a participatory action in desert development education in Egypt.

Tailored Short Training Courses:

DDC offers tailored training programs designed upon the request of the participants or the sponsors to Egyptians as well as non-Egyptians trainees.

Desert Community Interaction and Services

In the recent years, interaction has extended to remote desert areas in Egypt. Cooperative development, have extended to shabab area west Suez canal in the vicinity of Ismailia and to Port Said in the North and as far as East of Oweinat and Tushka in the South.

  • Land survey and soil, water and plant chemical and physical analysis
  • Soil, water and plant microbiological analysis (nematode, insects, mold, rot, pathogens, etc.)
  • Clinical services for diseased plants.
  • Introduction of high quality products, which are adapted to desert conditions and are developed as research results. Tissue culture products and special fruit and wood-trees seedlings are good examples.
  • Consultancy and advisory are provided to all levels of desert settlers and investors.
  • Extension and outreach services are provided to farmers and investors through on-and off-farm demonstrations, meetings and pamphlets.
  • DDC, in cooperation with the National Illiteracy Education Program has been offering evening classes for illiterate of both men and women of the near-by villages

Last Updated July, 2001

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