27 January, 2009

Wadi Natrun farmers protest rising land prices

El-Badeel and el-Doustour reports: Between 400 and 600 small farmers in Wadi Natrun demonstrated in front of the ministry of agriculture on Sunday, accusing the government of "selling their land to them twice" and protesting a dramatic raise in the yearly installments which threatens to force them away from their plots, after they had worked hard to cultivate the previously unproductive area. According to el-Badeel the total number of famers affected is about 10.000.

Since the mid-90s when regulations on land rents (introduced as a central element of land reforms during the Nasser era) was abolished by the government, hundreds of thousands of Egyptian small farmers have been forced of land often cultivated by them and their families for decades.

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