Agriculture is not the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about Egypt. Meanwhile, Egyptian agriculture represents about 12% of GDP, valued around $250 billion, which includes various fields and cash crops. Being mostly a plain lifeless desert, Egypt is currently the biggest supplier of potatoes to the EU! Surprisingly, all these results have been achieved with low inputs usage – the average annual consumption of pesticides there much lower than the international average! So, how do they do this?
The GROPRO team wants to break the stereotypes and show the results of our investigation concerning the potential of Egyptian agriculture. Our company made an exciting trip to Egypt in March 2020. Now we would like to share some insights to prove that Egypt is a high-potential agri sector.
Egypt, mostly a desert, has put together an effective agricultural production, especially in the specialty crops segments. The agricultural region in Egypt was confined to the Nile Valley and Nile Delta, with a few oases and some arable land in Sinai. Egypt’s entire crop area is irrigated, except for some rain-fed areas on the Mediterranean coast. Due to the poor quality of Nile water crop protection on the irrigated areas is the most important condition of future harvest quality (and quantity!).
Most Egyptian farmers/landholdings are not big, with the average size of the farm is about 1 ha. The total area farmed annually is about 4,83 million ha. The government is working to implement a major investment plan to increase agriculture areas by adding 1.2 million ha through reclamations in the south. Over the past four decades, the area of 370,000 ha of newly reclaimed land has been added to Egypt’s agricultural base.
Egypt is turning deserts into agricultural lands using drip irrigation and new agri technologies. Annual production of fruits and vegetables in Egypt was about 35 million tons in 2018 (FAO). Among vegetables, tomato, onions, and potatoes are the leaders in production. Egypt is a major exporter of ware potatoes.
In 2018, Egypt exported over 759,200 tonnes of ware potatoes and became the 5th largest exporter, supplying potatoes primarily to Russia and the EU. In 2019 Egypt took 5% of the global potato export market, Egyptian potato exports were 259.6 million USD in 2019. Egyptian potatoes are well-known for their good quality because Egyptian potatoes grown in clay or sandy soil. Also the Egyptian potatoes are liked by customers for its ability to long shelf life due to the appropriate level of solidity and sugar. Egyptian potatoes exporting season: starts from middle of January till the end of May.
Taking into account huge exports of Egyptian crops to the EU, the quality of Egyptian potato becomes the main question; the European market has very strong regulation about the usage of chemicals for food products. Despite rapidly growing interest, biopesticides currently are not widely used in Egypt. We hope, this will change soon and Egypt will be able to use more biopesticides to produce high-quality crops. Currently, vegetable producers and exporters are the driving force of the Egyptian market for bio crop protection products.
Talking about main issues for crop protection, we have learned that the main problems in Egypt are the following: mite, soft body insects, nematodes, whitefly, grey mold (grapes, strawberry), powdery mildew, etc. We are excited to see how GROPRO products will work for solving these issues in the Egyptian environment, and we are ready to provide wide educational support to local distributors and producers.
- Vigilance Nematicide, which protects roots but also adds no stress to the whole plant. Trials show that potato plants treated with Vigilance are visibly healthier above the ground and have no evidence of stress after treatments. Also, it is proven effective in multiple nematodes species and safe on beneficial microbes. This product is a fumigation replacement option.
- Reckoning – it is a control and preventive material that is highly effective for control of fusarium, bacterial rot, and many other bacteria-based diseases that affect potatoes. Reckoning has a zero PHI and is MRL exempt allowing for control and safety ensuring a clean superior potato harvest.
- Wrath was built to control all soft body insects. Wrath has a high efficacy on leafhopper, aphids, psyllids, and whitefly. As with all GROPRO control materials Wrath is MRL exempt and has a zero PHI. This allows our potato growers the opportunity to spray when they need not before. Wrath works on eggs, nymphs, and adults providing a total life cycle control.
Egypt is constantly increasing areas of potatoes production and extending export positions. To be competitive in the global market Egyptian exporters/farmers should have access to the modern technologies and best inputs. Especially in bio/natural farming. We believe that bio crop protection products will help to develop the Egyptian potato industry to improve the effectiveness of crop production by better quality and higher yields.
More info: https://www.groproag.com/