Libya’s grain production could increase 6-fold and supply half of local consumption in 2019

By Sami Zaptia.

A satellite image of the agriculture project in Al Kufra, functioning thanks to the fossil water resources available in the desert area. These resources which were discovered since the mid-1960s, are now being tapped not only for agriculture purposes but also are part of the Man-Made River, where water is piped toward the coastal towns and cities in the north.

A satellite image of the agriculture project in Libya’s southern city of Al Kufra fed by fossil water. These single pivot irrigation projects supplied much of Libya’s grain production prior to the 2011 revolution and would need to be reactivated if Libya is to reduce its grain imports substantially (Photo: social media).

London, 24 April 2018:

Libya’s grain production could increase by 600 percent and provide 50 percent of local consumption in the 2018-19 season, Libya’s Ministry of Agriculture has said.

Abdelmonem Shahabedine, the Chairman of the Presidency Council’s Ministry of Agriculture’s Steering Committee, told the Tripoli-based Libyan state news agency LANA, that Libya would need to import 1.1 million tons of grain to cover this year’s estimated consumption of 1.2 million tons. Libya produced only 100,000 tons last season.

However, Shahabedine said that Libya’s agricultural sector could meet half of next season’s needs by producing as much as 600,000 tons – if security and electricity supply improved. To meet this ambitious production target Shahabedine said that US$ 120 million would need to be invested in the agricultural sector, of which more than US$ 10 would go to seed imports.

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