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Food and Agriculture Policy Review: Egypt

Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (NENARNAP)








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    Book (series)
    Climate-smart policies to enhance Egypt's agrifood system performance and sustainability 2023
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    Highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, heat waves in Egypt are increasingly severe and frequent, raising the already high evaporation rate, accelerating crop transpiration, increasing soil aridity and elevating water requirements for both human and agricultural consumption in a country where water is imported. The forecasted spike in rainfall variability will affect flow of the Nile River, increasing both drought and high-flow years. While Egypt must produce more food for its rapidly growing population and confront high levels of child malnutrition, agricultural performance is slowing due to inefficient use of land, labour, water and energy along with environmental degradation and limited access to new technology, all of which favour increased incidence of pests and disease. Having tested climate smart agriculture (CSA) in four of Egypt’s most significant value chains – dairy, dates, maize and wheat – the authors demonstrate that CSA practices, technologies and policies will increase agricultural productivity and incomes, strengthen resilience to climate change and improve mitigation of its effects. These important, evidence-based findings have bearing well beyond Egypt’s borders. This publication is part of the Country Investment Highlights series under the FAO Investment Centre's Knowledge for Investment (K4I) programme.
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    Booklet
    Climate-Smart Agriculture in Seychelles 2019
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    The climate smart agriculture (CSA) concept reflects an ambition to improve the integration of agriculture development and climate responsiveness. It aims to achieve food security and broader development goals under a changing climate and increasing food demand. CSA initiatives sustainably increase productivity, enhance resilience, and reduce/remove greenhouse gases (GHGs), and require planning to address trade-offs and synergies between three pillars: productivity, adaptation and mitigation. The priorities of different countries and stakeholders are reflected to achieve more efficient, effective, and equitable food systems that address challenges in environment, social, and economic dimensions across productive landscapes. The country profile provides a snapshot of a developing baseline created to initiate discussion, both within countries and globally, about entry points for investing in CSA at scale. Seychelles is a small island state in the western Indian Ocean, which has developed a high-income economy and eliminated extreme poverty. Agriculture contributes about 2.2% of the country’s gross domestic product with tourism and the fisheries and seafood industries serving as the main pillars of the economy. Agricultural land occupies about 3.4% of the total land area of the country. A large portion of the land area (88.4%) is covered by forest mainly natural and established plantations for commercial purposes. Seychelles is divided into two large agro-climatic zones based on biophysical characteristics- mountainous/forest zone high ground and coastal plateau. In terms of agriculture, two agroecological zones can be distinguished mainly based on soil: upland and sandy soil. Main cropping systems includes food crop-based systems and perennial crop-based systems. Livestock production include goat, pig and chicken. Most crop production is under rainfed or irrigation system. Most farms are under 2 ha with backyard farming done to supplement household food or income. The main crops and products include coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potato, cassava, banana and tuna. Seychelles has the highest rate of overweight and obesity in Africa due to the shift from predominantly unprocessed traditional foods to a more westernised dietary intake consisting mainly of refined and processed foods. most greenhouse gas (GHG) emission come from the energy sector, followed by waste and agriculture which contributes 0.79% of the total. Seychelles has outlined in its nationally determined contributions mitigation actions in the forestry, energy and transport, and waste sectors. In agriculture, actions to mitigate climate change include: promotion of agricultural practises such as agroforestry which would involve mainstreaming strategies to limit deforestation and increase the sink capacity of forests. Challenges for the agricultural sector include (i) deforestation and unsuccessful intensification, (ii) uncontrolled urbanisation, land clearing, bush fires and population pressure, and (iii) high reliance on food imports. Agriculture in Seychelles is limited by a lack of arable land and extreme rainfall patterns and meteorological events like tropical storms, floods and droughts. Climate change poses serious challenges to the country such as uncontrolled economic and social consequences of floods, land degradation, sea-level rise, coastal erosion, declining agricultural yields, health vulnerability, and increased occurrence of drought. CSA technologies and practises present opportunities for addressing climate change challenges as well as for economic growth and development of the agriculture sector. Identified CSA practises in use in the country include: crop production under shade houses, inter cropping, use of organic manure and mulch, use of weather information, water control through irrigation, anti-erosion arrangement, windbreak and shelter, and use of climate-adapted seeds. Seychelles has several key institutions and policies aimed at supporting and increasing agriculture productivity and advancing CSA practises. These include government ministries and agency structures of ministries, firms operating in the agricultural sector, academic institutions, specialised laboratories and agricultural research institutes and training centres. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) serving as the country’s UNFCCC focal point and nationally designated authority to the Green Climate Fund is responsible for country’s climate change plans and policies. On the agriculture front the ministry of agriculture and fisheries is the key government institution for partnerships for climate-smart agriculture work in the communities as well as for policy and investment related issues through the national agricultural investment plan. A number of csa-related policies and strategies have been developed: National Programme on climate change strategy, national strategy for disaster risk management, national biodiversity strategy and action plan and the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into the country’s strategic plan- a definitive document intended to guide land-use management up to the year 2040. A number of projects that foster the development of knowledge and evidence on the effectiveness of climate smart agriculture in improving food security, mitigating climate change and improving the adaptive capacities of production systems and populations in Seychelles have received support from various donors and financing schemes. In addition, AfDB, COMESA, FAO, EU, IFAD, etc. have invested hugely in several aspects of the climate/agricultural sector of Seychelles which also include the development and promotion of csa innovations. From various sources of climate finance available internationally, Seychelles is currently eligible for only a limited number of these and has not wholly accessed major funding instruments such as the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund. The county is a small island nation whose prospects rely heavily on external demand, especially tourism. This poses major challenges for diversification and resilience. Its commitment to csa is relatively new with limited institutions and sources of funding.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    International Investments in Agriculture in the Near East
    Evidence from Egypt, Morocco and Sudan
    2011
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    The food crisis of 2007- 2008 sparked an increase in investment flows to agriculture in the Near East, particularly to countries rich in water and land resources, such as Sudan. These investments have continued to increase during 2009 - 2010, as food prices continue to remain high. This publication was motivated by this surge in international investments in agriculture. and the-. need to answer some key policy questions, through and a brief review of international investments in the region, and an exploratory analysis of the issues and challenges in the policy arena. Three case studies in Egypt, Morocco and Sudan were commissioned by the FAO Regional Office for the Near East. The purpose was to (i) identify past and current investment trends in terms of the actors involved, modalities, size and impact (to the extent that information is available), (ii) assess these investments in the context of the region and its food security challenges, and (iii) identify areas to be addressed by pol icy makers to ensure food security in the long run and provide a starting point to evaluate investments for timely and targeted policy measures. While information on international investments in agriculture is not readily available, the case studies provide an overall picture of agriculture investments, specifically focusing on foreign direct investments. The share of international investments to agriculture has traditionally been very low in the region. With a an average share of 1- 2% of total FDI, this investment is mostly concentrated in sectors other than primary agriculture. In the past few years, investments in agriculture have grown remarkably; however, information on their allocation and impact is incomplete and fast changing. Impacts of agricultural investments in the past have been mixed and concentrated in capital and resource intensive activities which are largely supported by the public sector. Sudan has attracted resource seeking investments, whereas Morocco and Egypt co ntinue to be investment destinations for market seeking investments, in the food processing and fruit and vegetable production sectors. The involvement of the private sector in investment in agriculture is growing but there is still a strong government presence in supporting these investments, often through direct and indirect subsidies in most countries. The historical experience of the region is instructive in terms of improving the efficiency of future investments in agriculture as well as en suring sustainable outcomes. Some of the salient features of international investments in agriculture can be summarized as follows: • Intra-regional investment in agriculture constitutes the bulk of the international investment in agriculture in the Near East. • Countries such as Egypt and Sudan are the largest recipients of recent international investments in food and agriculture, mostly from the Gulf States but also from other countries such as China and South Korea. Other countries in the reg ion are also heavily investing in agriculture and food sectors overseas, and beyond the Near East, including in Asia and Latin America. • Whether investor or host country, the common driving factor for international investments in agriculture in the region is food security concerns. The investment policies of most countries in the region are geared toward attracting investments. They are therefore relatively open and do not differentiate between the different sectors or the different types of ac tivities within agriculture. Agriculture, as an investment category, has been growing rapidly in the last three years, and most countries (especially the poorest) have not yet had the time to align their investment strategies with their national food security objectives. Given the rapid growth in agricultural investment, caution needs to be exercised by investor and host country governments, as well as private investors, to develop sustainable solutions and incorporate a long term perspective to support healthy and profitable investments. Given the diverse national and household food security concerns and resource availabilities, a regional focus on food security may be needed to better formulate and harmonize policies as well as tap into opportunities. The potential capacity for staple food production has its limits, but income generating opportunities are ample. A mix of investments geared at food processing, food service, and other sectors linked to agriculture, could also provide a lternative income opportunities for rural people, as well as increased employment opportunities in urban areas. Within this context, regional initiatives could be very promising in promoting food security in the longer term.

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