Saturday, May 14, 2011

How Egypt has changed: new farm policy to increase wheat and cotton acreage

"For the first time in years, the new rate for wheat has been announced well in advance of the next season, which starts in November and ends in April, giving growers ample time to prepare the new crop. The number of hectares of wheat is expected to jump to 1.5 million, or 3.7 millions acres, from 1.2 million hectares. Another 30,000 hectares recently seized from the Saudi investor Prince Waleed bin Talal after it was determined that he had bought the land below market prices will be devoted to growing wheat, further increasing the number of hectares in production.
The government also pledged to supply farmers with high-yield seeds and asked them not to keep any seeds from the current crop because of its poor yield.
Under the plan, wheat farmers will receive more regular and intensive counseling to “help them plant at the right time, use correct amounts of fertilizers and harvest the crop for the maximum benefit,” said Abdelsalam Gomaa, an adviser to the government and an expert on wheat cultivation. The government also will subsidize research that, along with better seeds, could sharply increase productivity, and it vowed to remove red tape that complicates the process of setting up companies seeking to grow grains, especially wheat."

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