Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Agriculture in Egypt

The Nile Delta has been one of the most agriculturally prolific places in the world and has been the leading producer of food among Arab nations since ancient times.
The land surrounding the Nile, which floods annually, produces a large variety of produce including cereals, fruit and vegetables, as well as cash crops such as the world famous Egyptian cotton.
This has attracted investment from around the world and businessmen such as Fahad Al Tamimi are actively involved in several agricultural projects in the area, exporting produce to the lucrative EU market.
The Nile is crucial to agriculture in Egypt and the other countries it flows through as there is very little rain. The Nile is still Egypt's only considerable source of fresh water and has been for thousands of years since the ancient Egyptians used it.
Whereas in the past, Egyptians relied on tidal flows and flooding to supply irrigation ditches with water, modern techniques use a network of ditches and catch basins to ensure the central government can guarantee abundant supplies of food all year round.
The river stretches 750 miles from the town of Aswan, near the Sudanese border, to the Mediterranean. The valley cuts through rocky highlands from Aswan to Cairo and at its widest point is only nine miles across.
The Nile forms a V, north of Cairo, forming a flat, green and fertile delta. There are six million acres of cultivated land surrounding the Nile making up only 3.5 percent of Egypt's total area of 385,200 square miles.
Although there are now about 25,000 tractors in Egypt, the majority of the agricultural work is still performed by hand, using the same types of tools as ancient times and which are on display Egyptian Museum. Farmers still turn water screws by hand and animal-powered water wheels are still a common sight in Egypt.
The largest difference between ancient and modern agriculture in the area is due to the building of the Aswan High Dam in 1965. The ancient system of collecting flood-waters in basins for irrigation has been replaced with a network of canals and smaller ditches to provide three consecutive cropping seasons every year.
One issue with agriculture in the area is the growing population it must support. In 1907 Egypt's population was 11 million and over six million acres was used for arable farming. The same six million acres must now support a population that is now almost 40 million.

No comments:

Post a Comment