Egypt lost 1.2M feddans in 40 years due to illegal activities on agricultural lands

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Mon, 31 Aug 2020 - 06:39 GMT

Women’s ownership of agricultural land would increase through clear policies – CC via Pixabay/vuesduciel

Women’s ownership of agricultural land would increase through clear policies – CC via Pixabay/vuesduciel

CAIRO – 31 August 2020: Egypt has lost more than1.2 million feddans (one feddan equals about 1.038 acres) over 40 years starting from 1984 until 2015 due to encroachment activities on the agriculture lands, announced head of the Agricultural Professions Syndicate Sayed in a statement on Sunday.
 
Khalifa noted that this lost piece of land could have been used to achieve food security for 25 million Egyptians, the statement added.
 
Due to the loss of the half of the piece of land, Egypt loses more than 2.5 million tons of wheat annually, he continued, noting that Egypt, which is the largest wheat importer in the world, imports about 10 million tons of wheat annually to meet people’s needs.
 
Encroachments include illegal construction on the Nile banks and arable lands, unlicensed fish farming, and disposal of industrial waste as well as other forms of pollution.
 
In January 2018, Egypt’s House of Representatives approved new amendments to the Agriculture Law, imposing tougher penalties on building on arable land
 
As per these amendments, building on arable lands is banned and violators could face penalties punishable by up two to five years in prison and a fine ranging between LE 100,000 (US$ 5,648) and LE 5 million. The old articles to the Agriculture Law stipulated that building on lands or changing the arable land to non-agricultural was punishable with up to 6-month imprisonment and a fine ranging between LE 10,000 and LE 50,000.
 
Egypt’s agricultural lands cover 10 million feddans 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 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.

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