Egypt: Parliament Approves Prohibition of Rice Cultivation in Non-Designated Areas
Amid major challenges within Egypt’s water sector, the Egyptian parliament approved a new water resources and irrigation law to curb illegal rice cultivation. Article 31 of the new law demands that the allotment of rice areas are in accordance to a ministerial decree issued by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. Article 124 stipulates that farmers who do not adhere to the allotted rice areas according to Article 31 will either face fines ranging between EGP 3000 – 10,000 ($192 – $640.20) per feddan (4,200 sqm) or receive a prison sentence not to exceed six months. The law left the court with the power to determine the penalty between a sentence or a fine for violators of rice cultivation outside specified areas set by the government.