Egyptian Chronicles: Who owns the agricultural land in Egypt now !?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Who owns the agricultural land in Egypt now !?

By accident, I stumbled last Thursday on that news or rather official report about agricultural land in 2015 that says a lot actually.
In May 2015,  Egypt's ministry of agriculture issued a statement saying only half of Egypt's farmers own less than 15% of agricultural land in the country !!

Yes, you read it right, half of Egyptian farmers own less than 15% of agricultural land in the country and each farmer owns between one to four kirats.

I do not know who owns the rest 85% of agricultural land in the country and whether if this means the return of the old feudalism or we have a new shape of feudalism in the country.

Seriously , who owns the majority of agricultural land in Egypt now !?

The report blames the migration of farmer to cities as a reason for the decline in the rate of agricultural land possession.

I believe that this is just one of the main of the reasons why there is a huge declare in the rate of agricultural land possession and that it took many decades to reach that percentage.
The report also says that decline in agricultural land possession led to the increase of poverty rate in the countryside as well the increase in building on agricultural land.

Again I believe actually that the increase of poverty rate and the bad economic and governmental decisions are behind that decline.

One of the examples of those governmental decisions is how the government cut the cotton subsidies in January and later in August it decided to ban cotton imports to support the local cotton industry but after 8 days only it reserved it.

Many farmers now sell their land or build on it because they can not afford to maintain it.
I am afraid that percentage will decline more and more with a bad economic situation and new upcoming taxes.

In its statement, the Egyptian ministry of agriculture said that half of Egypt's farmers were estimated by 10 million.

On the other hand, in a conference attended by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to celebrate the National Farmer day in September 2014, it was said that number of Egyptian farmers reached to 50 million !!

I do not know which number is correct to be honest.
In late December, the Egyptian president inaugurated his new megaproject to reclaim 1.5 million Fedans in the Western desert.
I just wish that the Egyptian officials have a closer look to the old Nile valley agricultural land, the dying fertile agricultural land for real before spending millions on reclaiming the desert.

4 comments :

  1. It is sad...very sad
    Compare to Nasser's time

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. I agree. I see agricultural land being eaten up by new apartment blocks. So sad and so bad for the economy! But the desert can be reclaimed and used.

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  4. Egypt doesn't need 50 million or even 40 or 30 million farmers. In 2012, the entire USA had only 3.2 million farmers.

    http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Highlights/Farm_Demographics/

    They farmed 2.1 million acres. The total cultivated area of Egypt is 7.2 million feddans

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/v9978e/v9978e0e.htm

    or 7.5 million acres:

    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=7.2+million+feddans+in+acres

    About 3.6 times as much as the USA, surprisingly. Still, at the American rate, Egypt needs only 3.6 times 3.2 million equals 11.5 million farmers!

    The comments on the Ahram article Zeinobia linked are excellent. Very perceptive. Read them.

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/129266/Business/Economy/Half-of-Egypts-farmers-own-less-than--of-agricultu.aspxVisit W3Schools

    Egypt needs a few well-educated farmers working much larger farms, or working for large companies, not 40 or 50 million illiterate farmers practicing stone-age subsistence farming on tiny plots.

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