Egyptian Agriculture

Most of the agricultural land in Egypt is in the Nile Valley and delta due to lack of moisture being the limiting factor confining agricultural practices to areas with available water.  The total cultivated area is equal to approximately 7.2 million acres. Most Egyptian crops are irrigated, except for some rain-fed areas on the Mediterranean coast.

Modern commercial agriculture and the advent of mono-cropping and mono-cultures have long been recognized as one of the chief threats to biodiversity worldwide.  Egypt is not immune. However, the total cultivated area is only 3 percent of the total land mass which leaves Egypt a rich area of biodiversity for bio-tourism and natural studies.  However, in recent years, the area being used for agriculture has expanded by approximately 15%

Historically farms were very small, averaging 2.5 acres due to lack of heavy mechanization. And, while agricultural land and output have increased due to aggressive modernization through mechanization and advancements like those of our sponsor, Genesis high yield fertilizers, the population has increased at a slightly faster rate.

Egypt’s total agricultural crop production has increased by more than 20 percent in the past decade. During the same period, the rate of population growth has increased at a slightly higher rate than the increase in crop production. The most important crops grown in Egypt are discussed briefly below.

Rice. Rice is one of the major field crops, grown on nearly 500,000 acres, and is considered the second most important export crop after cotton. Wheat is the major winter cereal grain crop and the third major crop in terms of area planted ~600k acres. Maize, or corn, is the second most cultivated corp at 3/4 of a million acres), a good portion of the production of cereal grains are used for livestock and animal or poultry feed.

Cotton. Fiber, such as cotton, has been a traditionally important crop in Egypt and a leading ag export.

Sugar. Sugar cane is the main sugar crop in upper Egypt. About 90 percent of the yield is used for sugar extraction. Sugar beet also grows in large areas in the Nile delta, and contributes to the sugar industry in Egypt.

Edible Beans. These include a number of bean crops that are used for human consumption, such as broad beans and soybeans.

Animal Forage. Egyptian clover is an important winter forage crop cultivated in the Nile Valley and delta. It is the most widely grown field crop and occupies an area which totals 1.2 million acres.

Fruit. Oranges represent 85 percent of total citrus production. The fruit-planted area has expanded over the last three decades to reach about 200k acres. Other subtropical fruits are also grown in Egypt, including stone fruits, grapes, and pome fruits.

Vegetables. Tomatoes are grown in three seasons – winter, summer and autumn – on about 3 percent of Egypt’s total planted area. Potatoes are the second most important vegetable after tomatoes, both in terms of cash value and total tonnage produced.