CAIRO: Egypt’s reclaimed lands have declined by 35.9 percent during 2014-2015 fiscal year to register 14,500 feddans, compared with 22,600 feddans a year earlier, according to annual bulletin issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) Sunday.
The report attributed the decline to a drop in the allocations dedicated by state bodies to land reclamation projects.
“The total area of livestock projects (dairy production, fattening, and breeding cattle and sheep) of reclaimed land reached 88 feddans in 2014/2015 versus 106 feddans in the last fiscal year, a decrease of 17.0 % due to the lack of demanding companies to set up livestock projects,” the bulletin said.
Due to over-population, the Egyptian government has launched a mega project of reclaiming a total of four million feddans nationwide in light of increasing Egypt’s arable lands to 12 million feddands. The first phase of cultivating 1.5 million feddans was launched in December 2015 and scheduled to be completed by 2017.
However, a total of 1.5 million encroachment cases have been reported, violating a total of 66,000 feddans nationwide since the January 25, 2011 uprising, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Agriculture in March.
The rate of encroachments surpassed efforts to remove and prevent them; Egyptian scientist Farouk el-Baz said during a 2014 lecture in Cairo University warning that Egypt may lose its entire arable land in a span of 183 years.