MPs push for Egypt’s farmers

Parliament’s agriculture and irrigation committee accused the government of "fighting" and "belittling" farmers. At a meeting on Sunday, the committee warned of the collapse of Egypt’s agriculture as a result of government policies towards farmers.

The committee debated three early-day motions concerning this year’s corn harvest. MP Emam Mansour said that the government had refused to purchase the farmers’ corn harvest to put pressure on farmers to lower the price. He described such a move as "outright theft" that resulted in heavy financial losses for corn growers.

Mansour said Egyptian farmers have become vulnerable and a "toy in the hands of the government." Mohamed Kasba, another MP, warned that farmers might give up farming as a result of the government policies.

MP Adel Shalaan described the situation of Egyptian farmers as a "major catastrophe," especially given that the country might soon face a food crisis.

Bahgat Qaroun, another MP on the committee, wondered "how twenty ardebs (112 US bushels) of corn are sold for LE2000, while the cost of growing them is LE4250?"

Abdel Rehim el-Ghoul, head of the committee, urged MPs to pressure the government to increase the price of one ton of corn to LE250. Fathi Abdel Aziz, first deputy minister of social solidarity, said that it is the collective responsibility of the ministries of agriculture, trade, industry, investment, and social solidarity to set crop prices and not that of his ministry alone.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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