03 June 1998
Egypt sends in the rice squad

THE Egyptian government is destroying rice nurseries in areas not designated for rice-growing.

It is using armed troops to oversee the use of chemical weedkillers to destroy seedlings which the Government claims have been planted illegally.

The move was prompted by a policy designed to save 3 billion cubic metres of water a year by limiting rice production, introducing less water-intensive varieties and forcing farmers to shift to corn production.

Up to 800 farms in the Qalyubia governorate north of Cairo have been visited by troops. Basta 20 SL is being used to destroy the seedlings.

  • Financial Times 03/06/98 page 30