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Egypt's Rice Export Ban Worries Farmers

"I expect the rice price will get lower this season, and it will be better for me to buy rice than to plant it," said Mahmoud Abdel Fattah, a 55-year-old farmer.

The rice harvest season came in September in the Nile Delta area of Egypt. Farmers will be busy on harvesting, packaging and selling through the whole month, with the hopes to earn more to feed their families.

According to the official data from the Egyptian government, the rice price has surged by about 50 percent this year. In supermarkets of Cairo, the price of one kilo rice has increased from 3.5 Egyptian pounds (0.4 U.S. dollar) last year to unprecedented 11 pounds three months ago.

The hiking price encouraged more farmers to plant rice this year. However, this season is not a source of joy anymore since a ban of rice exports, issued by the government last month, aiming to control the price and preserve stocks for the local market.

"For this season, I have spent 2,000 Egyptian pounds on 12 acres since this May, but now I can't expect a reasonable income," Fattah said while spreading the rice on ground to get drier, helped by his daughter and his two grandchildren.

Club Med UK

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