Agriculture is considered to be the major economic activity in Egypt despite the government policies that favored other sectors since the second half of the 20th century. However, Egypt currently faces a food security challenge that stems from the increasing demand for food in light of huge population growth and the inability of the agricultural sector to fulfill the abovementioned increasing demand.
This research focuses on the vertical expansion of the agricultural sector through attempting to determine the optimum cropping mix for Egypt in the year 2017. A fuzzy goal programming (FGP) approach for optimal land allocation is utilized. In the model formulation, five goals were modeled; namely crop production, net profit, investment, fertilizers and water requirements. A tolerance based FGP technique was employed to account for the fuzziness of the selected goals.
Without imposing any constraints to ensure food security, results show that it is not optimal to grow strategic crops, including wheat, broad beans, and maize. Accordingly, constraints were set on the minimum land allocations to strategic crops. Results of the model indicate that achieving food security has some costs in terms of profitability and fertilizers utilization. Yet, it is possible for the government to target higher levels of self-sufficiency of strategic items as the costs are tolerable. The resulting land allocations indicated that the profit goal was fuzzily achieved only in the winter season, yielding a level of profit that is lower than the target by only 0.68%. As for the fertilizers requirements goals, they were partially achieved in both the winter and the summer seasons. As a measure of sensitivity, the model was solved using different weight structures, and setting different constraints on essential crops stemming from the potential of a population growth rate that is greater than expected.
MA in Economics
Dr. Ahmed Kamaly
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
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el Sayed, L. M.
(2012).Determining an optimum cropping pattern for Egypt [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
el Sayed, Loujaina M.. Determining an optimum cropping pattern for Egypt. 2012. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.