Minister of Agriculture Salah Youssef has prohibited construction on reclaimed agricultural land. The law, effective immediately, exempts service facilities for farms, which could be built over 2 percent of the total land area.
“We shall take legal measures against anyone violating that decree,” Youssef said in a press conference on Thursday.
As to land owners who were allowed to build on over 7 percent of total area under previous laws, the minister said they would have to pay LE15,000 for each 1 percent that surpassed the currently allowed 2 percent.
He also said that the ministry would cease supplying farmers with fertilizers until next year’s winter season, in a step to combat the fertilizers’ “mafia” that monopolizes this business.
“We came up with a mechanism that ensures the supply of fertilizers to deserving farmers, not land owners who sell it later for higher prices,” he said.
Youssef also explained that the ministries of agriculture and solidarity would buy rice from the market like any other dealer, and help meet demand by supplying it to coops.
Translated from the Arabic Edition