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Ahram Online: Fertiliser price hikes in Egypt

Mona El-Fiqi reports on the reasons behind the recent hikes in fertiliser prices.
02.08.18 | Interesting article at Ahram Online

The rise of fuel prices in June has added to the burdens shouldered by farmers as it has led to a further hike in the prices of fertilisers.

Ahmed Mohareb, a farmer in the Beheira governorate, said that a 50 kilogram bag of urea, a kind of nitrogen fertiliser, had now reached LE285 compared to LE230 earlier. Urea is the most common nitrogen fertiliser used in Egypt and around the globe.

According to Mohareb, his costs have recently increased due to hikes in fertiliser prices as well as land-rental costs which have surged from LE6,000 to an average of LE12,000 to LE15,000 per feddan in his village in the Beheira governorate.

While producers and traders have attributed the increase to hikes in fuel prices including of the natural gas used in the production of fertilisers, experts believe that the problem is also related to the marketing and distribution of fertilisers.

Adel Fadel, deputy chairman of the Egyptian Fertiliser Traders and Distributors Association, told Al-Ahram Weekly that a black market can develop when a subsidy system is in operation, and that one of the present problems is that benefits can go to traders instead of farmers.

Under Egypt’s fertiliser subsidy system the state-owned Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC) and agricultural cooperatives provide subsidised fertilisers to farmers.