Agricultural land – CC via Pixabay/vuesduciel
CAIRO - 30 November 2019: The Agrarian Reform Authority seeks to sell lands restored from squatters in Alexandria, Sohag, Sharqeya, and Fayoum by tender to be held on December 10 in coordination with the General Authority for Governmental Services.
The Law Enforcement Forces demolished 1 million square meters of building violations and 10,000 feddans of encroachments on agricultural lands across Egyptian governorates in four days.
In January, Egypt’s House of Representatives approved new amendments to the Agriculture Law, imposing tougher penalties on building on arable lands. As per these amendments, building on arable lands is banned and violators could face penalties of up two to five years in prison and a fine ranging between LE 100,000 ($ 5,648) and LE 5 million.
The old articles of the Agriculture Law stipulated that construction on lands or changing the arable land to a non-agricultural land was punishable by up to a 6-month imprisonment and a fine ranging between LE10,000 and LE50,000.
Encroachments include illegal construction on the Nile banks, unlicensed fish farming and disposal of industrial waste as well as other forms of pollution. Since January 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has launched a campaign to remove violations detected by the government on the Nile banks.
According to the ministry’s latest data, which was announced in July, a total of 26,322 cases of encroachment on the Nile banks have been removed and since March 2017, a total of 12,425 cases of encroachment were removed.
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.
Since the January 25 revolution in 2011, a total 80,000 feddans were encroached but most cases were upheld, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Spokesperson Hamid Abdel-Dayem previously told Egypt Today.