THREATS AND CHALLENGES TO SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN EGYPT: IMPLICATIONS FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
M. Y. Shalaby, K. H. Al-Zahrani, M. B. Baig, G. S. Straquadine* and F. Aldosari
Deptt. of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
*Dean and Executive Director, Utah State University- Tooele Regional Campus, Tooele, UT 84074 USA
Corresponding author’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Egypt is an agricultural based country. Its development primarily depends upon rural resources. Agriculture contributes approximately 14% of the GDP and absorbs about 31% of workforce. About 53% population lives in rural areas where directly or indirectly their livelihood depends upon agricultural sector. Despite its positive and significant contributions to food security/supply, economy, employment, export earnings, ecological balance, yet the agriculture of the country faces many threats and challenges which, in turn, impacts rural development initiatives. The prominent challenges include land and water issues; old cultivation techniques; lack of information on marketing; poverty; degradation of natural resources and environmental issues; population growth; inadequate support services; framework and institutional constraints; and lack of agricultural and rural development policies. In this article, an effort has been made to identify the constraints faced by the agricultural sector, discuss the available farm management options, and to outline the vibrant strategy backed by an efficient and effective Extension to realize sustainable yields and rural development in the country.
Key words:small landholdings, agricultural production, population growth, limitations and stresses, agricultural extension and rural development