A report issued by the Agriculture Ministry on Sunday recorded 1.3 million cases of encroachment on 60,000 acres of agricultural land from January 25, 2011 until June 21, 2015, of which only 222,000 cases were resolved by removing the people from the land.
Official sources at the Agriculture Ministry said the government is unable to protect the land or remove encroachments, adding that such irregularities cost the government more than LE5 billion every year in food production shortages as a result.
They called for stiffened penalties that include imprisonment and high fines for people who encroach on arable land.
The report pointed out that Menoufiya recorded 155,678 cases on an area of up to 4,634 acres, followed by Beheira, Gharbiya, Qaliubiya, Sharqiya, Dakahlia, Assiut, Minya and Sohag.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm