Productivity rises: Egyptian rice output at 5.5 million tons
Egypt’s average per hectare rice output is expected to grow to 11.43 tons by the end of the current year, according to Al-Ahram daily. Yussuf Walli, the Egyptian Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, stated that the country’s overall rice production for the agricultural season 2000/2001 is estimated at 5.5 million tons, making it the largest rice producer in Africa.
Last year, the US Department of Agriculture ranked Egypt first worldwide as regards rice productivity per hectare in the 1999/2000 season, with 8.55 tons/hectare. A government-supported rice research program helped raise production from 5.8 tons per hectare to 8.5 tons over ten years. Government policies facilitated rice production by increasing farmer participation, improving water and pest management and providing credit schemes.
Rice exports saw the greatest growth of all agricultural goods shipped from Egypt this year. During the past several years, with 560,000 tons of rice was exported from Egypt this year, according to Walli. This figure is expected to reach 600,000 tons by the end of season, this coming November. The crop’s exports brought in some 750 million Egyptian pounds ($198.9 million) so far.
Egypt’s agricultural sector as a whole, which constitutes 17 percent of the nation’s GDP, has experienced marked growth in both productivity and export value. — (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)