Roundtable Discussions

The State of Food Security in Egypt

Date : 9/20/2011

Speakers : HE Gouda Abdel-Khaleq (Minister of Social Solidarity and Social Justice); Magda Kandil & Omneia Helmy (ECES); Ashraf Kamal Abbas (The Agricultural Research Centre); Saad Zaki Nassar (Cairo University)

The agricultural sector plays an important role in Egypt’ economy, contributing about 13 percent to gross domestic product (GDP) and employing around 27 percent of the labor force. Despite this importance, the agriculture sector has not been given its due attention over the past several decades, minimizing its contribution towards the achievement of national economic objectives, mainly food security. This objective has been made all the more difficult in light of successive global and domestic developments, causing steep increases in food prices as well as intensifying uncertainty about the future.Limited natural resources such as land and water as well as lower private and public investment in agriculture are among the main challenges precluding the achievement of Egypt’s objective of food security. Crop composition is also a concern due to competition for limited resources. This roundtable discussed the state of food security in Egypt, with a view to offering some relevant proposals for agricultural policy in an attempt to contribute to the achievement of this much-sought objective.