Mission report : Egypt 16-26 May 2009 : Capacity Development and Institutional Change Programme, Wageningen International, The Netherlands

Heijden, P.G.M. van der; Verdegem, M.C.J.


Egypt has a rapidly expanding population and the government is concerned with future food security. The Nile is the nation’s only renewable source of fresh water and this forms a bottle neck that sets limits to agriculture and its future expansion. Making use of this limited resource in the most efficient way is of great importance for Egypt (and for other countries with limited fresh water supplies). Egypt has a large fish consumption and a major part of the country’s fish supply is already the result of aquaculture, especially the farming of tilapia (> 450.000 tons in the past year). Expansion of fish production can only come from the expansion of aquaculture because the catches from natural resources have already reached the limits of the carrying capacity of the marine and freshwater fish stocks. The improved integration of aquaculture (fish farming) into existing farming practices may offer the opportunity to expand fish production without demanding a greater share of the fresh water resource. In addition to water also nutrients will be used more efficiently in an integrated system. Practices in other parts of the world have shown that both agriculture and aquaculture can benefit from improved integration as result of synergic effects.