QUESTION:Sustainable agriculture in Egypt/the Middle East

question / pregunta: 

I'm interested in researching whether sustainable agriculture/food sovereignty is a viable possibility in Egypt/ or other areas in the Middle East. It seems that many of the political conflicts there are based on resources/or lack thereof. Many MENA (Middle East + North Africa) economies have moved away from growing their own food in favor of industrialization/export economies/oil export and importing food. There is the major problem of water scarcity in MENA, and food sovereignty has been disparaged by many economies as futile and wasteful. However, MENA countries have been growing their own food for centuries, and food sovereignty would be a crucial step in decreasing many conflicts in the region.


As a start here is a link to the pdf version of an article about virtual water policies and struggles in Egypt and India. There is an extensive list of references at the end of the paper.

Roth, Dik, and Jeroen Warner. "Virtual Water: Virtuous impact? The unsteady state of virtual water." Agriculture and Human Values 25 (2008): 257-70. SpringerLink. 3 Oct. 2007. Springer. 20 Feb. 2009 .

Some notable references:

Hakimian, H. (2003). “Water scarcity and food imports: An empirical investigation of the ‹Virtual Water’ hypothesis in the MENA region.” Occasional Paper No. 46. London, UK: School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), Water Issues Study Group, University of London. Retrieved from on November 3, 2006

Wichelns D. (2001). The role of ‹virtual water’ in efforts to achieve food security and other national goals, with an example from Egypt. Agricultural Water Management 49: 131–151

This is obviously a very large topic, but here is one reference I came across. I suspect that journals devoted to alternative and sustainable agriculture may cover the topic (by comparison) as well.

Title: Dryland farming research in Egypt: strategies for developing a more sustainable agriculture.
Author(s): Adel El-Beltagy, Youssef Hamdi, Mohsen El-Gindy, Awad Hussein and Ayman Abou-Hadid.
Source: American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12.n3 (Summer 1997): p.p124-130.

Egypt's agricultural development strategy include enhanced scientific research and technology, human resource mobility, land development and investment, and optimal use of agricultural resources and livestock. The need for agricultural development in Egypt arises from the limited arable land, population growth and water resource reclamation of available land. Other agricultural issues include water resource quality, on-farm water management practices, modern crop production technology and wheat production.

Source Citation: El-Beltagy, Adel, Youssef Hamdi, Mohsen El-Gindy, Awad Hussein, and Ayman Abou-Hadid. "Dryland farming research in Egypt: strategies for developing a more sustainable agriculture." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12.n3 (Summer 1997): 124-130.