Agriculture Ministry to boost Egypt’s cultivation of “drought rice”
The Agriculture Ministry aims to increase the cultivation area for less water-intensive rice to 500k feddans from 150k feddans in a bid to save water, Al Mal reports. The “drought rice” crop consumes 4k cbm of water per acre compared to 6k cbm needed for the traditional rice crop, while the output from each feddan is around 5 tonnes, compared to 4 tonnes for traditional rice. Confusingly, there are also plans to increase its production of water-intensive white rice to 4 mn tonnes this year, despite the fact that we only need 3.2 mn tonnes to meet local demand. This contradicts a key ambition of the USD 50 bn water conservation plan outlined by Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Atti in April, part of which aims to clamp down on water-intensive crops.