Environmental Justice

Climate Change, Egypt’s Agriculture and Food Security

Egypt’s agriculture sector has shown dramatic increase in production over the last three decades and recently with the pandemic crisis, the sector was more resilient than other sectors1. Climate change is expected to significantly affect the agriculture sector where temperatures are expected to increase to 3.1 °C according to the  Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model (HGEM). Rain is also expected to decline with the biggest rate of 15 mm according to the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace model (IPSL) and lastly evapotranspiration will increase by 5 to 21 percent. These climatic changes in Egypt will affect the agricultural productivity where food crops are expected to decline by 5.9 percent, cereals by 11.9 percent, rice by 6.4 percent, wheat by 2.3 percent, and fruits and vegetables by 9.4 percent. Not only climate change will be the main pressure on food security but also population growth, decreased agricultural land due to urban encroachment and lack of resilient climate change readiness in the different sectors of the country. Egypt is estimated to have lost around 595,237 feddans2. The scarce water resources enhance Egypt’s vulnerability to climate change also. With decrease in food availability, prices are expected to increase significantly, which will affect Egypt’s food imports and exports that will have a great impact on domestic supplies. Economically, Egyptian consumers are expected to bear $1.84 billion annually between 2020 until 2050 mainly in the form of decreased agricultural output and increased food imports, and small farmers are the most vulnerable group to be affected. The government of Egypt has been committed to work nationally and globally to counteract climate change. Research has indicated that there are many technological adaptation strategies that would be cost effective and beneficial for Egypt. In parallel, there should be non-technological adaptation to strengthen the agriculture sector and food production. Many projects by international donors are working to achieve these goals. Mitigation is an opportunity for Egypt given the development plans the country has where sustainable development and businesses can help mitigate the impacts of climate change impacts.