Egypt Independent

Agriculture minister: Egypt to revive cotton farming

The ministries of Agriculture and Trade and Industry are hoping to revive the local cotton industry with a combination of incentives, aid for farmers and technological developments.

The plan aims to encourage the textile industry to use Egyptian cotton, instead of imports, for manufactured products, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Salah Youssef said in a statement Wednesday.

He added that his ministry will provide incentives to local spinners who use Egyptian cotton.

Youssef said he has met with Trade and Industry Ministry officials and private sector representatives to discuss mechanisms for facilitating industry growth, including developing spinning machinery specifically tailored to local cotton.

The minister added that cotton cultivation rose this season after the Agriculture and Land Reclamation Ministry provided facilities to farmers, including high-yield seeds that helped draw a large profit last season.

Observers say the industry has declined over recent decades because the government has not supported cotton farmers in planting one of Egypt's oldest crops.

Saeed al-Gohary, head of the General Union of Textile Workers, said local cotton production has declined due to the textile industry's dependence on imported cotton.

Translated from the Arabic Edition