DRC belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
Desert Research Center (DRC)
1 Mathaf Al-Mataria-Cairo
Conducting research to explore the natural resources in the Egyptian deserts to be utilized at sustainable manner in Agriculture and improving livelihood of local communities’ .The broad mandate is encompassing fields of research such as water resources, soil management, plant production, animal husbandry, ecology, and socioeconomic studies. Monitoring and assessing desertification causes. Field of operations is also broad-based, stretching from the Sinai to the New Valley to the fringes of the High Dam Lake.
The Environment of the Location
The headquarters of the center is in Cairo, but the main facilities of research and extension are based in desert stations. These stations are geographically distributed to represent different ecosystems in order to meet the challenges of each. For instance, there are four stations in Sinai namely; Sheikh Zuweid station, located North Sinai for conservation and utilization of Plant Genetic resources , El- Maghara station located south of El-Arish in the middle of the Sinai for water harvesting and range land management, Ras sudr station located in south Sinai for Bio-saline agriculture Baloza station at El-Qantra for range land management and sand dune fixation. Desert Research Center has other stations in Marouh,Toshka,Siwa,New valley and Halayeb/Shalateen.
The beginning was early in 1927, when king Fouad the 1st decided to establish an institute for the exploration of the Egyptian desert in order to evaluation its rich natural resources. The institute was inaugurated by king Farouk the 1 st n 1950, since then, the Desert Research Institute has been administered by numerous institutions and ministries.
In 1990, the institute acquired the new name “Desert Research Center” (DRC) with new structures, laws and bylaws. It has become an independent Center belonging to the Minister of Land Reclamation. Since then the objectives of DRC have been developed to be in harmony with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation development plans. This made the applied research on the top of priorities.
The Centers’ community constitutes 55 Research Professor, 59 Assistant research professors, 56 Researchers, 75 Research assistant, 32 Assistant researchers, and 1000 Administrators, technicians and laborers (at the DRC headquarters and stations). The center constitutes of number of administrative offices, in addition to the 8 Stations, and 5 Associated Units (Tissue Culture Lab, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Satellite Receiving Station, Private Service Unit (PSU), and Library). The center constitute of 32 Laboratories and 4 Major Divisions, 14 Departments.
Water Resources and Desert Soils Division
- Geology Research Dep.
- Geophysical Exploration Dep.
- Renewable Energy Research Dep.
- Hydrology Research Dep.
- Hydrogeochmistry Research Dep.
- Pedology Research Dep.
- Soil Physics & Chemistry Research Dep.
- Soil Fertility & Microbiology Research Dep.
- Soil Water Conservation
Ecology & Dry Land Agriculture Division.
- Plant Genetic Resources Dep.
- Plant Production Research Dep.
- Plant Ecology & Range Management Dep.
- Sand Dune Research Dep.
- Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Dep.
- Plant Protection Dep.
Animal & Poultry Production Division
- Animal & Poultry Breeding Dep.
- Animal & Poultry Nutrition Research Dep.
- Animal & Poultry Physiology Research Dep.
- Wool Production & Technology Research Dep.
- Animal Health Research Dep.
Socioeconomic Studies Division
Major Collaborating Institutions
The Center also has some collaborating activities with both national and international organizations. On the national side it has shared activities with (National research Center, Academy of Scientefic Research & Technology, Institute of African Studies & Research Cairo Univ.) and Ministry of Scientific Research and other organizations. On the International side (Organization of African Union, European Union, American universities including “Boston, Maryland, New Mexico, etc. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), Food & Agriculture Organization FAO, International Atomic Energy Agency, etc.
Supporting Facilities are Resrarch and Extension Stations and project sites for:
- Investigating desert potential for Agricultural development.
- Carrying out studies on behalf of the government institutions, societies and small landholders.
- Preparing postgraduate research assistants and scholars for higher degree study in the field of scientific research.
- Providing proper help and advice to target groups, whether local Bedouins or investors, to best utilize available resources.
- Managing desert and newly reclaimed soils with respect to their agricultural use and development.