A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Rising Price of Staple Sandwiches Affecting Food Security in Egypt

03 December 2007



A recent surge in the price of the fava bean-based foul sandwich, one of the most popular dishes in Egypt, bears testament to the need for a bona fide food policy in Egypt.

The over 25 percent increase in price1 has raised a great deal of concern, as these sandwiches are the staple food of most low-income households.

Long self-sufficient and even a net exporter of fava beans, Egypt is currently suffering from its excessive reliance on the world markets for agricultural raw materials and fava beans in particular.

With production levels insufficient to meet demand, Egypt has increasingly turned to imports; the country produces 240,000 tons of fava beans annually2, but 550,000 tons are required to meet demand. Currently, Egypt has to import over half of the beans it requires. And in a context where agricultural prices are on the rise, Egypt is bearing the brunt of price volatility.

As a result, the country continues to acquire the handicaps of a net importer, this despite the high performance of its farming sector. As Habib Ayeb, a researcher at the American University of Cairo, states, “there is a very real paradox in Egypt, where the agricultural sector is quite successful. The country has the means for food self-sufficiency, but not to cover all of its food needs.”

In light of this senseless situation, some are speaking out to denounce the government’s lack of political will and short-term vision with regard to agricultural policy. One agricultural expert, Mohamed Al-Borei, recently sounded the alarm by calling on the government to requisition land for bean production.

1 The sandwiches reached the price of 1 Egyptian Pound (EGP), equivalent to 12 euro cents, while average monthly income in Egypt falls at around 300 EGP (40 euros).
2 400,000 tons were produced in 1990. The cultivation of cotton, a more profitable crop, has gradually replaced that of beans.
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Paris, 24 April 2019