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Calls to protect Egypt farmers against fuel price hikes

Egyptian farmers collect sugar cane during the annual harvesting season, Luxor, south of Cairo [File photo]
Egyptian farmers collect sugar cane during the annual harvesting season, Luxor, south of Cairo [File photo]

Head of the Syndicate of Egyptian Farmers, Hussein Abu-Saddam, has called for protecting Egyptian farmers against new price hikes in fuel.

The call came in the wake of the fifth price hike imposed by the Egyptian government since the start of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s rule in 2014. The government has decided to raise fuel prices between 16 to 30 per cent, the New Khalij reported yesterday.

“The price hikes will make most of the farmers live below poverty line because they use machines which consume fuel to carry out their work,” Abu-Saddam said.

He also said that the new price hike would lead to a sharp decrease in the amount of agricultural produce, because the farmers would reduce the areas of their farms as a result of their inability to cover the expenses of growing crops.

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Abu-Saddam also stressed that the farmers need the most economic support from the government, highlighting the importance of just distribution of this support.

“Supporting farmers means supporting all Egyptians because the farmers are the foundation of production and their crises inevitably undermine agricultural development, which harms commerce and industry,” Abu-Saddam said.

He also called for cash payments to be given to the farmers, as well as for reducing the burdens laid on them and to offer them appropriate funds through the Egyptian Agriculture Bank.

Al-Sisi’s price hikes came as part of economic reform measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which paid a loan to Egypt on condition of carrying out such reforms.

The measures aim to end the government subsidies of fuel and bread, but a partial price hike has led to a wave of rising living expenses.

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