More than 90% of Egypt is desert which is divided into two by the Nile River.
The Nile valley and delta are the main centers of settlement and cultivation.
Less than 10% of Egypt’s land area is suitable for cultivation and hence the need for irrigation.
The following are steps taken to improve irrigation farming in Egypt
- construction of water reservoir to supply water for irrigation
- reclaiming of dry land for crop farming to increase production
- intensive cultivation to increase the yield and thus offset the high cost of production
- controlling weeds using herbicides and thus increasing the farm yield
- strengthening of cooperatives to easily acquire loans to expand farms
- hiring labor during the peak period such as harvesting
- increasing research into better yielding, fast maturing and disease resistance varieties
- carrying out market research to widen the export market for farm output
- constant dredging of canals to allow efficient flow of water for irrigation
- specialization of farming activities and thus increase in the quality of output
- practicing mixed farming to encourage interdependence between crop and livestock
- extension of canals and aqueducts to transfer water to the farms
More than 90% of Egypt is desert which is divided into two by the Nile River. The Nile valley and delta are main centres of settlement and cultivation. Less than 10% of Egypt land area is suitable for cultivation and hence the need for irrigation.
The following are conditions that favour irrigation farming in Egypt:
- Supportive government policies toward irrigation farming by giving tax incentives and encouraging farm research.
- A large market for farm produce within the urban centres of Egypt and other countries
- Modern technology is employed in farms such as use of refrigerated trucks, cold rooms and construction of canals.
- A large supply of skilled labour to work in irrigation farms such as drivers, harvesters and managers
- The presence of modern transport infrastructures such as railways, roads, airports which enable easy marketing and distribution of crops to market centres
- The formation of cooperative unions which lead to reduction of cost of production such as through collective buying of farm input.
- The area receives low rainfall necessitating irrigation and farming. More than 90% of Egypt receives less than 250 mm of rainfall
- Presence of extensive and cheap land to establish the irrigation farms due to low population.
- Low incidences of pests and diseases due to hot temperature which supports the growth of crops
- Relatively flat landscape in the central valley which allows the use of machines like tractors on the farms and allows irrigation and gravity flow.
The river Senegal forms the boundary between Mauritania and Senegal, which are west African countries bordering the Atlantic coast. In this area, annual rainfall is about 400 mm or less.
However, most of the northern areas are in a desert.
Therefore, because of the river, there was a need to establish irrigation schemes to increase food production.
The major schemes are the Richard toll scheme and the delta scheme. The major crops grown are maize, tomatoes, sorghum, sweet potatoes, sugar canes, millet, rice, cucumbers, and beans.
The following are conditions favouring irrigation farming in Senegal:
- The area is semi-arid and it receives low and unreliable rainfall necessitating irrigation farming
- supportive government policy towards irrigation farming by giving tax reductions and encouraging farm research.
- Presence of modern transport network by railway, road, air, for easy marketing and distribution of crops to market centres.
- Large sums of capital to invest in irrigation farming such as purchasing farm machinery, chemicals, and fertilizers
- The presence of a large market for farm produce within the urban centers of Senegal and other countries like the Gambia, Mauritania among others
- Modern technology employed on farms such as the use of tractors for farming and construction of canals
- a large supply of skilled labour to work on the irrigation farms such as drivers, harvesters, and managers
- Availability of large sums of capital provided by the government to construct canals, pumping stations, and crop farms.
- The presence of fertile alluvial and silt soils deposited in the area due to annual flooding to support the growth of crops.
- The constant supply of water for irrigation from river Senegal and its tributaries like doue and taoue
- Low incidence of pests and diseases due to hot temperatures which supports the growth of crops.