File- President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspected on Friday Mostaqbal Misr project for sustainable agriculture in Dabaa city, Marsa Matrouh governorate, on January 8, 2021- press photo
CAIRO - 10 June 2021: In a way to increase Egypt’s arable land, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Thursday decreed to allocate two areas of state-owned areas in governorates of Minya and Beni Suef for the Armed Forces for reclamation and cultivation.
The decision, which was published on Thursday's official gazette al-Waqā’i‘ al-Miṣriyyah, will come into force on Friday.
In April last year, President Sisi directed the government to expand the reclamation of arable lands nationwide to grow strategic crops, said Egyptian presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi in a statement.
"Over the past 8 years, Egypt has lost 8,014 feddans of arable lands due to 1.9 million cases of encroachment and violations," said the Central Department for Land Protection at the Ministry of Agriculture in a report issued in August 2019.
The encroachments include illegal construction on the Nile’s banks and Delta, unlicensed fish farming, as well as industrial waste and other forms of pollution. Since January 2015, the ministry, in cooperation with the concerned security bodies, has launched a campaign to remove violations detected by the government on the Nile banks.
In January 2018, Egypt passed a law that toughens the penalty imposed on the violators, who could face up to 2-5 years in prison and a fine ranging between LE 100,000 (US$ 5,648) and LE 5 million.
"Egypt’s agricultural lands covered 10 million feddans (one feddan equals about 1.038 acres) in 2015, compared to 9.6 million feddans in 2010," the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) noted in a report issued on September 19, 2016. According to the World Bank data, Egypt’s agricultural areas on the country’s whole land increased to 3.6 percent in 2015, compared to 2.6 percent in 1961.