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Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profiles

EGYPT

by
Dr. Mohamed A. El-Nahrawy

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CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION

Land area, arable land

Ruminant sector

Farming sector

2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY

11

Topography

11

Soils

12

3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES

15

Climate

15

Agro-ecological zones

15

Major agricultural enterprises in main zones

16

4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

18

Scale of enterprise

18

Integration of livestock into farming systems

21

Limitations

21

Socio-economic limitations

22

Rangelands

23

Rangeland production and carrying capacity of rangelands

25

Fodder crops

27

The role of Egyptian clover in Egyptian agriculture

28

Forage seed production

34

Limitations

35

Crop residues and by-products

35

Summary of the benefits of converting farm-residues and agro-wastes to conventional feedstuff

38

Rangeland rehabilitation

38

Possible ways to alleviate the degradation:

38

Establishment of improved pasture

38

Integration of forages into farming systems

39

Tree fodder

39

Utilization of saline water for crop/forage production

39

7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL

40

Contact persons

41

8. REFERENCES

42

9. CONTACTS

44

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

1. INTRODUCTION
Egypt is in the north-eastern corner of Africa between
latitudes 21O and 31O North and longitudes 25O and 35 O
East (see Figure 1a) with a total area of 1 001 450 km2;
the country stretches 1 105 km from north to south and
up to 1 129 km from east to west. It is bordered in the
north by the Mediterranean Sea, in the east by the Gaza
Strip, Israel and the Red Sea, in the south by Sudan and
in the west by Libya.
Egypt is predominantly desert and arid and semi-arid
rangelands (see Figure 1b) and can be divided into 4
major physical regions (for details see section 2 below:
The Nile Valley and Delta, Western Desert, Eastern
Desert and Sinai Peninsula.
Egypt is divided into twenty-six governorates (see
Figure 1c) , which include four city governorates
(Alexandria, Cairo, Port Said and Suez), nine in Lower
Egypt (in the Nile Delta region), eight in Upper Egypt
along the Nile River from Cairo to Aswan, and the five
frontier governorates covering Sinai and the deserts that
lie west and east of the Nile.
Egypt is known as one of the oldest agricultural
civilizations; the River Nile allowed a sedentary agricultural society to develop thousands of years ago. It
has a predominantly rural population (the percentage of
rural inhabitants is estimated at about 58%) and according to World Factbook the July 2011 population was
estimated at 82 079 636 with a growth rate of 1.96%.
The capital city is Cairo with an estimated population
of 10.902 million, while Alexandria has 4.387 million
persons (2009 estimates). Figure 2 shows the population distribution and density in Egypt.
The country has no effective rainfall except in a narrow band along the northern coast. Consequently, Egypt
has only one main source of water supply, the Nile. The
availability of a reliable water supply from the High Dam
in Aswan is governed by the water-sharing treaty with
the countries of the Nile Basin under which 55.5 billion m3 per annum is allocated to Egypt. Additional
water could become available with the completion of
the Jonglei Canal. Total available water resources are
estimated at 73.8 billion m3 annually. Total of water use
is about 62.6 billion m3 (Table 1). Agricultures share of
the water budget is about 81% (Table 2) and increased
to 85% in 2006 (El-Beltagy & Abo-Hadeed, 2008).
According to Sustainable Agricultural Development
Strategy Towards 2030 (SADS, 2009) per capita fresh
water is expected to decline from 711.0 m3 in 2008 to
550 m3 in 2030. Recorded share from cultivable land
was about 504 m2 per inhabitant in 2006. An increase
in water availability and efficiency could result from
proper management of water through more effective

Figure 1a. Map of Egypt


(Source: World Factbook)

Figure 1b. Egypt showing the vast desert


area and the Nile Valley and Delta
[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Egypt ]

Figure 1c. Map of Egypts Administrative


Divisions/Governorates

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

on-farm water management practices, changes in


cropping patterns towards less water consuming
crops, the introduction of improved irrigation systems as well as re-use of drainage water and treated
sewage water (Abouzeid, 1992; FAO, 2003; SADS,
2009). The Egyptian economy has relied heavily
on the agricultural sector for food, feed, fibre and
other products. It provides livelihood for about
55% and employs 30% of the labour force, contributes approximately 17% of the GDP and 20% of
all foreign exchange earnings. The recorded share
from animal protein is about 21 g/day in 1997 and
is planned to rise to 24g per capita by 2017, while
the minimum recommended share by FAO is about
30 g/day/person (SADS, 2009).
Land area, arable land
Egyptian agriculture is almost entirely dependent
on irrigation. More than 90% of Egypt is desert (see
Figure 3). The agricultural land base totals about
3.5 million ha (8.4 million feddan) which represented about 3.5% of the total area in 2007. Of this
agricultural land, 3 276 000 ha (7.8 million feddan)
lie within the Nile Basin and Delta, and the remaining 210 000 ha (500 000 feddan) are rainfed or in
the oases. Of the total area of the Nile Basin and
Delta, about 2 268 000 ha (5.4 million feddan) are
old lands, the remaining 1 008 000 ha (2.4 million Figure 2. Map of Egypt showing population
feddan) are new reclaimed lands.
density
About 94% of the total cultivated area was (Source: <http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/ ).
occupied with annual crops and 6% with permanent
crops in1980/84 (Table 3). The cropping area has increased from about 4 500 000 ha (10.9 million feddan) in 1980/84 to about 6 940 000 ha (16.5 million feddan) in 2008/9. This period has also witnessed
significant changes in the cropping pattern, as indicated in Table 3. Cereals, fruit, sugar crops and vegetables areas have increased from 2.0, 0.17, 0.11 and 0.43 M ha in1980/84 to 2.98, 1.43, 0.25 and 0.74
M ha respectively in 2008/09. While fibre crops, oil crops, fodder crops and food legume areas have
Table 1. Available and potential water resources (in billion m3) annually.
Source

Potential amount

Nile water
Groundwater
Re-use of agricultural drainage water
Treated sewage water
Rain
Total

73.8

Amount in use

100.00

62.60

100.00

Source: Adapted from Abouzeid, 1992 and FAO, 2003.

Table 2. Distribution of used water in various sectors (in billion m3) annually.
Sector

Consumed amount

Agriculture

Shipping & maintenance of water in the River


Total
Source: Adapted from Abouzeid, 1992 and FAO, 2003.

62.60

100.00

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

decreased from 0.48, 0.08, 1.28 and


0.14 M ha in 1980/84 to 0.22, 0.02, 1.17
and 0.13 M ha respectively in 2008/09
(SADS, 2009).
In 2002, 99.8% of cropland was irrigated. Even the small, more humid area
along the Mediterranean coast requires
supplementary irrigation to produce reasonable yields. Irrigation potential is
estimated at 4 420 00 ha, whereas the
total area equipped for irrigation in 2002
was reported at 3 422 178 ha, with 85%
in the Nile Valley and Delta. Surface
irrigation was practised on 3 028 853 ha
in 2000, while 171 910 ha were under
sprinkler irrigation and 221 415 ha
under localized [drip or trickle] irrigation. Surface water was the source
for 83% of the irrigated area in 2000,
while 11% (361 176 ha) of the area
was irrigated with groundwater in the
provinces of Matruh, Sinai and the New
Valley. The remaining 6% (217 527 ha)
was irrigated with mixed sources. The
power irrigated area was estimated at
2 937 939 ha in 2000. On the other
hand, the area planted to fodder crops
decreased from 28.1% in 1970/74 to
around 18.9% of the cropped area in
2007 (SADS, 2009). This decrease is
due to the high competition between
wheat and berseem during the winter
season on the available cultivated area.
Egypt has little effective rainfall, at
Figure 3. Map of land use in Egypt
most 200 mm and unequally distributed
and on limited areas. Mostly it has vast
areas of poor rangeland (Figure 4), estimated at more than 10 million ha. Over the past decades, recurrent drought, modern technology and new economic rules have dramatically changed sheep production
systems and socio-economic conditions. Increasing settlement of nomads, increase in sheep numbers in
Table 3. Changes in area harvested by crop group (in M ha)

Crop group
Cereals

Year
1980/84
area
%

Year
1990/91
area
%

42.6

46.2

2.4

2.6

Year
2000/01
area
%

Year
2006/07
area
%

Year
2007/08
area
%
42.4

Legumes
Fibres
Sugar crops
Oil crops
Fodder crops
Fruit
Total

4.8

8.4
6.77

Source: Economic Affairs Department, Agricultural Statistics Bulletin (2009), Ministry of Agriculture, Cairo, Egypt.

Year
2008/09
area
%

marginal zones, expansion of cultivation and


reduction of fallow have greatly increased
pressure on available land and reduced soil
fertility. Conservation and where possible,
improvement of existing grazing lands (coastal, low plateau and high plateau) could be
achieved through: developing a tree seedling
nursery capacity in the villages, and planting, in cooperation with local land users, of
improved fodder trees and shrubs (Figure 5);
enhancement of soil stabilization by the
planting of windbreaks; using trees or shrubs
with reasonable nutritive value; identification, in cooperation with local user groups, of
useful local forage species; initiation of seed
collection and multiplication programmes;
over-seeding selected rangelands with seeds
of good nutritive value local grass and legume species; and the application of restricted
grazing when it is possible.

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

Figure 4. Poor rangeland due to the lack of


sustainable management

Ruminant sector
Livestock form an important component of
the agricultural sector, representing about
24.5% of the agricultural gross domestic
product with value of around EGP [Egyptian
pounds] 33.6 billion [USD6.1 billion] in 2007
(SADS, 2009). In 2005 local production covered about 92.5, 82.2, 100, 81.9, 100, 100 and
100% respectively for milk, red meat, white
meat, fish, eggs, wool and leather. Each of
cattle, buffalo, sheep, camel, and goat populations contributes about 51.6, 33.2, 6.5, 5.9 and
2.7% of local red meat production, respectively, which reached 629 000 tonnes in 2005.
There is no surplus of animal production for
export except some limited numbers of sheep
and goats. The sector is depending mainly on
the private sector, with the majority of animal
breeders being smallholder farmers and the
share of the government sector is less than
2% of the total animal numbers. The ruminant
sector is well-integrated with cropland since
Egypt has limited natural pastures. Animal
Figures 5a & b. Transplanting fodder trees and
production is highly dependent on cattle and shrubs: an efficient way to control desertification and
buffaloes as milk-producing animals, as well for use as a source of feed
as male animals and un-reproductive females
are fattened for meat. The cattle population totalled 4.6 million head, while the buffalo population reached
3.9 million head in 2006. Regarding small ruminants, the sheep population reached 5.4 million head,
while the goat population exceeded 3.9 million head in 2006. The camel population was about 120 thousand head, while horses and asses exceeded 3.2 million head in 2005 (SADS, 2009).
The cattle population is concentrated in both Middle Delta and Middle Egypt regions with percentages 22.4 % and 26.2%, respectively. While 32.2% of the buffalo population is in the Middle Delta region

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

and 22.4% is in the Middle Egypt region. Nevertheless, 31% of the sheep population is concentrated in
Upper Egypt, compared to 22.38% in Western Delta region. The goat population is concentrated in both
Upper Egypt and Middle Egypt regions with percentages of 36 % and 23.5%, respectively.
Indigenous cattle represent about 60% of the all cattle, while mixed-breed cattle represent about 37%
and imported cattle about 3%. It is worth mentioning that 65% of the cattle population in the Western
Delta region is mixed-breed, while in Middle Egypt the percentage of mixed-breed is 18.5% only.
Meat and milk productivity of both cattle and buffalo experienced significant increases during the
period 19802007. Average cow milk production increased from around 675 kg/head/season in 1980 to
around 1.3 tonnes/head/season in 2007, due to increased number of indigenous cows mixed with foreign
cows. As to buffaloes, milk production increased from around 1.15 tonnes/head/season in 1980 to around
1.4 tonnes/head/season in 2007, as a result of increased mechanization of farm operations. With regard
to meat production, average weight of the cow carcass increased from around 132 kg/head in 1980 to
around 200 kg in 2007, due to establishing fattening farms as well as improving animal feeding practices. The average weight of the buffalo carcass increased from around 129 kg/head in 1980 to around
176 kg in 2007, as a result of expanding the first and second stages of the young male animals fattening
project (SADS, 2009).
Farming sector
The agricultural sector has witnessed significant developments over the last two decades with direct
effects on its role in national income formation and promoting exports. Such developments have also
affected farmers delivery as related to the cropping pattern, applied technology, levels of income and
farmers response to market changes.
Land Tenure Reform: among the main features of the Agricultural Reform law were the determination
of the rental value of land at seven times the tax assessment, the inheritance of rental contracts, and the
complete cancellation of market mechanisms in determining agricultural land rental value and prices. In
addition, the government has frozen the tax assessment on agricultural land and consequently its rental
value for more than 40 years. These issues have caused several distortions and imbalances in the socioeconomic relations in rural areas, some of which can be listed as follows:
tion to land maintenance and increased deterioration.

The aforementioned and other factors led to the review of the land owner-tenant relationship law,
and the enactment of a new law with the purpose of activating market forces in determining land rental
and land market values that constitute the main elements of production, thus improving the efficiency
of land distribution among the various agricultural activities. The state has exerted tremendous efforts in
applying the new law without endangering the social dimensions of the areas.
Agricultural development efforts during the 1980s, the 1990s and the first years of the twentyfirst
century had achieved great successes in plant production with all its components, due to expanding
agricultural areas and improving land productivity. Agricultural areas have increased
from around 2 465 400 ha in 1980 to
around 3 544 800 ha in 2007, an increase
of 44% during this period. The cropping
area has increased from 4 662 000 ha in
1980 to 6 468 000 ha in 2007. Livestock/
crop production is an excellent example of
an integrated production system (Figure 6)
where fodder crops and agricultural residues
provide the feed for animals. The majority of
small farmers (about 90% of farmers) follow
Figure 6. Integrated livestock/crop production
this system. Animal manure (Figure 7) makes

10

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

the soil more productive than would be the


case in their absence.
More than 50 million m3 of animal manure
are produced annually. On the other hand,
small farmers are very disturbed during summer time because of the lack of feed. More
than 95% of the landowners hold less than
two hectares each (Table 4). Only less than
5% own 2.1 ha or more. Almost all livestock
are raised through livestock/crop production integrated systems. Crop production
includes field crops, vegetables, fruit and
forest trees, and medicinal, aromatic and
ornamental plants. The annual total cropped
area is estimated at 6 468 000 ha, giving a
Figure 7. Manure, an animal by-product, enriches the
cropping intensity of about 183% in 2007.
soil
There are three cropping seasons in Egypt:
Winter (November to May), Summer (April/ Table 4. Size classification of farms in Egypt
Area class (ha)
% farms
% area
May to October) and Nil (July/August to
October). On the old lands, cropping intensities can be very high (200%), but on the new
lands intensities reach only 150%, mainly
22.8
because of water shortages and the lack of
From 4.2 to 8.4
means of production in those areas. Crop
From 8.4 ha to 42 and over
production contributes about 65.8% of the
Total
total value of agricultural GDP. The value of
Source: Ministry of Agriculture, General Agricultural Census, 1981/1982.
field crops, however, was estimated in 2007
at about 23.8 billion L.E. [Egyptian pounds;
same as EGP] [US$4.3 billion] which represent 63.7%. The value of vegetables, fruit and medicinal, aromatic and ornamental plant crops are
estimated at about 12.1%, 14.2%, and 0.7%; respectively, of the total crop production value. Changes
in area harvested by crop group during the period from 1970 to 2007 are presented in Table 3. Field
crops include cereals, which occupy about 2 717 400 ha (wheat, about 1 050 000; maize, 882 000; rice,
588 000; grain sorghum, 142 800; and barley, 168 000 ha) and represent about 50% of the value of
field crops; fibre crops, which occupy 315 000 ha (cotton, 299 250 and flax, 15 750 ha); sugar crops,
which are grown on 121 380 ha (sugarcane, 105 000 and sugar beet, 16 380 ha); grain legumes, which
are planted on about 134 400 ha (faba beans, 123 480; lentils, 4 620; and chickpeas, 6 300 ha); oilseed
crops which are planted on about 131 880 ha (including soybeans, 26 040 ha; sunflowers, 31 080 ha;
sesame, 30 240 ha; and groundnuts, 44 520 ha); and forage or fodder crops, which contribute 18%
of the total value of field crops and are grown on about 1 276 800 ha: multi-cut berseem or Egyptian
clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) 714 000 ha; single cut berseem or Egyptian clover or cover crop
(Trifolium alexandrinum L.) 260 400 ha; alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) 25 200 ha; hybrid forage sorghum (Sorghum sudanense X Sorghum bicolor) and Sudan grass (Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf.)
21 000 ha; maize (Zea maize L.) for silage 126 000 ha; forage (pearl) millet (Pennisetum glaucm L.)
4 200 ha; forage maize (Darawa) (Zea maize L.) 105 000 ha and minor forage crops such as cowpea
(Vigna siensis L.), elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach), guar (Cyamposis tetragonoloba),
Amshot (Echinochloa stagninum), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) , Fodder beets (Beta vulgaris
L.), Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana Kunth), teosinte (Euchlanea mexicana Schrad.) 21 000 ha. Vegetables
are grown on about 844 200 ha which represent about 13.1% of the total value of horticultural crops and
fruit. Forest trees are grown on about 378 000 ha. Cultivation of medicinal, aromatic and ornamental
plants is a rapidly growing business because of the high demand in both internal and external markets.

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

11

2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY


Topography
The main relief features are shown in Figure 8, where the Nile Valley and Delta and other lowland areas
and depressions are shown in brown.
There are 4 main physical regions:
Nile Valley and Delta: although covering only about 5.5% (35 000 km2) of the total area of Egypt, this
is the most important region, supporting 99% of the population on its cultivated lands. The rich, alluvial
Nile valley, which extends approximately 800 km from Aswan to the outskirts of Cairo, is also known
as Upper Egypt while the Nile Delta which covers approximately 22 000 km2 is referred to as Lower
Egypt. Since construction of the Aswan Dam, agriculture in the Nile valley depends on irrigation. The
Nile delta (containing lakes Maryut, Idku, Burullus and Manzala) consists of flat, low-lying areas; in
parts it is marshy and water-logged, and thus not suitable for agriculture; other areas of the delta are
used for agriculture.
Western Desert: covers an area of some 700 000 km2 and accounts for around two-thirds of Egypts
total land area. This immense desert to the west of the Nile spans the area from the Mediterranean Sea
southwards to the Sudanese border. The deserts Jilf al Kabir Plateau at a mean altitude of some 1 000
m, constitutes an exception to the uninterrupted territory of basement rocks covered by layers of horizontally bedded sediments forming a massive plain or low plateau. The Great Sand Sea is located here as
well as escarpments and deep depressions. No rivers or streams drain into or out of the area. Depressions
(six) are occupied by oases apart from the largest (the Qattara Depression) which includes the countrys lowest point (133 m below sea level), encompasses approximately 15 000 km2, and has badlands,
salt marshes and salt lakes and is
sparsely inhabited. Limited agricultural production occurs in the oases.
Eastern Desert: the topographic
features of the region east of the
Nile are very different from those
of the Western Desert. The relatively mountainous Eastern Desert
rises abruptly from the Nile and
extends over an area of approximately 220 000 km2. The upwardsloping plateau of sand gives way
within 100 km to arid, defoliated,
rocky hills running north and south
between the Sudan border and the
Delta. The hills reach elevations of
more than 1 900 m. Except for a few
villages on the Red Sea coast, there
are no permanent settlements. The
importance of the Eastern Desert
lies in its natural resources, especially oil.
Sinai Peninsula: is triangularshaped, about 61 100 km2 in area
and contains mountains in its southern sector that are a geological

Figure 8. Relief map of Egypt.


Source: www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/egypt.html

12

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

extension of the Red Sea Hills, and has the countrys highest point, at 2 642 m above sea-level. The
southern side of the peninsula has a sharp escarpment that subsides after a narrow coastal shelf that
slopes into the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. The elevation of Sinais southern rim is about 1 000 m.
which declines to the north and becomes a flat, sandy coastal plain, which extends from the Suez Canal
into the Gaza Strip and Israel .
Traditionally agriculture was mainly concentrated in the old land, characterized by its alluvial soil,
in the Nile Valley and Delta; this is the main contributor to food production, trading activities and the
national economy using available Nile water. With increasing demands for agricultural production, new
lands have been reclaimed and added to the old land.
The agricultural area in Egypt comprises two parts:
The Nile Delta and Valley (see Figure 8): which is also the most densely populated area in Egypt.
Through the last four decades large areas at the desert fringes of the Nile Valley and Delta have been
reclaimed using mostly Nile water to add greater economic assets and relocate a significant portion of
the population (El-Bagouri, 2008). The main target at the beginning of the twenty first century is to
achieve Egypts dream by leaving the narrow valley of the Nile. Agriculture development faces many
challenges such as the dry land, climatic change, and human induced problems. The soils on the new
lands are mainly sandy and calcareous.
Oases and along the northern coast: other limited land areas were put under cultivation when water
was available. In spite of the limited rainfall on most of Egypt, rainfall ranges between 120150 mm
per annum on the north coast area during winter. Efforts have been made to utilize rainfall in cultivating
some drought tolerant crops, such as barley, olives and figs. Due to the importance of making use of
this water resource, it might be appropriate to provide an area of about 147 000 ha with supplementary
irrigation to increase the cultivated areas. Modern technical applications, such as water harvesting and
other suitable techniques may also be applied in order to maximize the use of rainfall.
Soils
According to the FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World, Map Sheet VI, the main soils occurring in
Egypt are:
Calcaric Fluvisols
These soils occupy the delta and the floodplain of the Nile River. They are brown, moderately calcareous
and clayey or loamy and generally layered. The pH is about 8.1 to 8.3; in saline-sodic patches the pH
is more than 8.5. These are the prize soils and cream of the soil resources of the country. In the strips
bordering the desert on the east and west of the delta and floodplain, the soil is generally loamy and at
places stony. The topography varies from nearly level to rolling. Salinity occurs in patches.
Calcic Yermosols
These soils occur in the rocky desert east and west of the Nile as well as in the central part of the Sinai
Peninsula. They are brownish or yellowish-brown in colour, strongly calcareous and underlain by rock at
shallow depth. Only small areas of wadis have moderately deep or deep soils but they are also strongly
calcareous. In the southwestern part these soils are stony.
Haplic Yermosols
These soils occur in narrow strips along the coast of the Red Sea, in two small areas. One area is in the
southeastern part of the country and the other is opposite to the southern one-third of the Sinai Peninsula.
These are deep loamy soils with weak structure. In parts they are saline.
Orthic Solonchaks
These are very strongly saline soils. They occupy a strip of delta area along the coast of the Mediterranean
and a large area of Qattara Depression about 200 km west of Cairo, These soils have little agricultural

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

13

Table 5. Soil map classes by area and percentage in the


studied area in the Nile Delta and Valley.
Soil Classification

Area (ha)

Area (%)

Aquollic Solarthids
Calcic Gypsiorthids
Calclorthids
Calclorthids & Orthents

Eutric Regosols
These soils are rocky and gravelly and occur
on hill slopes and piedmont plains of the
mountain region east of the Nile River. They
are non-calcareous. They have value only as
poor grazing land.

Lithic Torripsamments
Petrogypsic Gypsoirthids
Typic Calci-Terripsamments

value. In the delta area however, they are


being reclaimed and put under cultivation at
high cost which is justified because of the
good standard of farming and abundance of
irrigation water after the construction of the
Aswan dam.

226

Typic Colciorthids
Typic Gypsiorthids
Typic Quertizipsamments
Typic Solarthids
Typic Torrerts
Typic Torrifluvents
Typic Torriorthents
Typic Torripsamments
Typic Ustifluvents

6 648
2.28

Consolidated Rocky Ridge

Haplic Xerosols
These are deep clayey soils of a piedmont plain near the northwestern tip of
the Nile delta. They are soils of semi-arid
Mediterranean climate and support a poor
crop of barley without irrigation; for profitable agriculture, supplemental irrigation is
needed.

High Sand Dunes


Hilly Gravel And Cobble Stone Land
Plateau Surface
Rock Land
rock outcrop
Sand Dunes
Urban

Calcaric Regosols
These are deep clayey soils occurring in a
small plain area within the desert west of the
Nile River and a small area in the northeastern corner of the country. These are formed
in the piedmont plains of limestone. These
are good soils for irrigated agriculture.

6 666

Nile
Water
Total
Source: under publication data (personal communication from Dr. Hamdi
Khalifa, Ex. Director, SWERI, ARC, Egypt)

Lithosols
These are very shallow soils of the mountains in the area east of the Nile, along
the coast of the Red Sea as well as the
mountains in the southern part of the Sinai
peninsula. These are useless except as poor
grazing land.

Shifting sand
This is not soil in the real sense, but is soil material, occupying a large area in the western part of the
desert west of the Nile river and the northern, one-third of the Sinai peninsula. It has little use.
The Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute (SWERI), Agricultural Research Centre (ARC)
conducted a study to identify soil classes in the Nile Delta and Nile Valley and the results in terms of soil
classes are presented in Table 5, which show the areas (hectares) of each soil class and its percentage.
The distribution of soils along the Nile Delta and Valley are shown in Figure 9. Data in Table 5 show that
the most dominant soil type is Typic Torrerts, which occupies 4 954 975 feddans (2 081 090 ha) representing 27.93% of the total studied area. Rock land, very shallow, occasionally rock outcrop, is the soil
type that is rated second which occupied 3 790 519 feddans (1 592 018 ha) representing 21.36% of the
total area. The third dominant soil type is Typic Torriorthents with an area of 3 582 173 feddans (1 504
513 ha) representing 20.19% of the study area. The Typic Quertizipsamments is rated the fourth dominant soil type, representing 8.49% of the area. The percentages of the rest of the classes are less than 5%.

14

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

Figure 9. Map of soil classes in the studied area in the Nile Delta and Valley.
Source: under publication data (personal communication from Dr. Hamdi Khalifa, Ex. Director, SWERI, ARC,
Egypt)

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

15

3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES


Climate
The climate in Egypt is generally moderate; it is mostly hot or warm during the day, and cool at night.
In the coastal regions, daytime average temperatures range between a minimum 14 C in winter and
maximum 30 C in summer. In deserts the temperatures vary considerably, especially in summer; when
they may range from 7 C at night, to 52 C during the day. While the winter temperatures in deserts do
not fluctuate so wildly, they can be as low as 0 C at night, and as high as 18 C during the day. Egypt
receives less than 80 mm of precipitation annually in most areas, although in the coastal areas it reaches
200 mm. It hardly ever rains during the summer.
In general, three rainfall belts may be distinguished: (1) The Mediterranean coastal belt, (2) middle
Egypt with latitude 30 N as its southern boundary, and (3) upper Egypt. The first and second belts have
a winter rainfall (Mediterranean regime); the rainy season extends from November to April, though
mainly concentrated in December and January. These belts correspond roughly to the attenuated (shorter
dry period) and accentuated (longer dry period) arid provinces of northern Egypt, where the average
annual rainfall ranges from 100 to 150 mm in the attenuated arid province, and from 20 to 100 mm in
the accentuated arid province. It extends rather south along the Gulf of Suez to Lat.26 N due to the
orographic influence of the Red Sea coastal mountains. The third belt is almost rainless; it corresponds
roughly to the hyperarid provinces. Rain in this belt is not an annually recurring incident; 10mm may
occur once every ten years. The rainfall increases gradually to the North until it reaches about 20 mm
at the borders with the arid province (at Giza). One of the major features of rainfall in arid and semi
arid regions [N.B. hyperarid (P/ETP< 0.03) and arid (P/ETP = 0.03 0.20) where P = precipitation and
ETP = potential evapotranspiration, calculated by Penmans formula] other than being scanty, is its great
temporal variability, average deviation of annual precipitation from the mean, expressed as percentage
of the mean, is greatest in the hyperarid provinces (e. g. Siwa 83 %). In the arid province the percentage
variability is 65 % at Giza which is close to the hyperarid provinces.
The climate in the Matrouh directorate area is arid Mediterranean, but the maritime influence of air
moisture and temperature moderates the drought conditions imposed by lack of rain and high radiation.
The major constraint to significant economic (including agricultural) activity in the Matrouh area is low
and unpredictable rainfall (100170 mm). Two years out of every ten result in drought conditions with
less than 50 mm in the growing season. Rainfall decreases by 3050% at a distance of 1015 km from
the coast and continues to decrease further inland. Climate in general is characterized by hot, dry summers and moderate winters. The hot period starts from May to the end of October and temperatures can
reach 42 C with the average temperature of about 35 C during the summer; the moisture percentage is
about 77%. The cold period starts from November till April, when the temperature goes down to average
from 13 C to 21 C and average moisture percentage ranges from 30 to 40%.
Egypts Mediterranean coast and the Nile Delta have been identified as vulnerable to sea level rise.
A recent study concerning fresh water resources in Egypt, including vulnerability assessment concluded
that while the impact of climate change on the Nile Basin could not yet be predicted, there are indications that the impacts will be significant and severe. Any decrease in the total supply of water, coupled
with an expected increase in consumption due to the high population growth rates and the rise in the
standards of living could have drastic impacts. All climate change scenarios considered resulted in simulated decreases in wheat and maize yields: climate change may bring about substantial reductions in the
national grain production. As for cotton, it is clear that seed cotton yield will be increased gradually to
arrive at its maximum by the year 2050 due to the expected impact of climate change (i.e. when temperatures rise by between +2 OC and +4 OC). If climate change adversely affects crop production under
the normal CO2 concentration, Egypt would have to increase food imports.
Agro-ecological zones
The country can be classified into five regions based on soil characteristics, water sources, and climatic
conditions:

16

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

: including Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, Northern Sinai, Southern Sinai, Alexandria and Matrouh governorates. Extends along the north coastal areas, about 50 km wide and
parallel to the Mediterranean Sea; characterized by moderate climate during the whole year, since
it is affected by the Mediterranean Sea climate. It has more rainfall (180200 mm per annum) than
most areas. The soil is sandy or calcareous.
including Al-Qaliobeya, Al-Menoufeya, Al-Gharbeya, Al-Dakahleya,
Kafr-el-Sheikh, Al-Beherah, Al-Sharkeya, Dumyat governorates. Climate is even more moderate
than in the coastal region, characterized by warm winters and moderate temperatures during summer. The region has alluvial soils (clay to loam), with a predominance of montmorillonitic types
of clay mineral.
including Giza, Bani-Sweif, Al-Fayoum, and Minya governorates. Climate is more moderate than the coastal region and is characterized by warm winters and moderate
temperatures during summer. The region has alluvial soils (clay to loam), with a predominance of
montmorillonitic types of clay mineral.
: including Asyut, Sohag, Qena, Aswan and the New Valley governorates; climate is
much hotter during the summer season and warmer during winter in comparison with the rest of
the regions. The region has alluvial soils (clay to loam, with a predominance of montmorillonitic
types of clay mineral).
including Al-Nubareyah and all lands included in the land reclamation
program adjacent to the Delta and the New Valley. It has similar climate but soils are sandy calcareous or calcareous.
Taking into consideration the overlapping nature of the climatic, soil, topography and socio-economic factors, the country could be
classified into many agro-climatic
and agro-ecological zones and the
number of zones could be increased
if the whole of Egypt is considered.
In Figure 10 six agro-ecological
zones are shown. These mainly differentiate between the vast areas of
stony and mountainous desert and
the Nile Valley and Delta and the
oases areas.
Major agricultural enterprises
in main zones
total area of the
zone is estimated at 495 000 km2,
representing 49% of the total area
of Egypt, as the zone includes the
New Valley governorate whose
area is estimated at 440 000 km2.
Agricultural areas are estimated at
around 474 600 ha, representing
around 14% of the total agricultural
areas in Egypt . The zone includes
the largest lake behind the High
Dam. Huge quantities of ground
water are also available in different
areas of the zone, especially in East
Owainat and the New Valley areas.
Water resources in the zone are of
high quality, and contamination is

Figure 10. Agro-ecological zones of Egypt

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

17

the lowest in most of its lands, a situation that enables the expansion of clean agricultural products that
can be exported. The zone is famous for dry date production. There is great potential for horizontal
expansion in Toshka, East Owainat and the New Valley areas. The potential to produce high quality
products gives the region considerable comparative advantages vis--vis other regions, such as the
Mahogany and Jatropha trees that flourish easily in Luxor and Qena governorates.
total area of the zone is estimated at 139 000 km2, representing 13.7% of the
total area of Egypt. Agricultural areas are estimated at around 966 000 ha, representing around 28.7% of
the total agricultural areas in Egypt. The zone totally depends on the Nile source for irrigation. Moderate
climatic conditions prevail in all the governorates of the zone, with limited rainfall during the period
from November to February, hence the diversity of production patterns. Most of the lands are of high
quality: first and second grade lands constitute around 50% of the total area. The zone includes the rice,
sugar beet, long-staple cotton, as well as the milk producing belts. The zone is specialized in producing
the seedlings of citrus crops.
3. Eastern Delta region: total area of the zone is estimated at 79 000 km2, while agricultural areas are
estimated at around 504 000 ha, representing around 15% of the total agricultural areas in Egypt. There
are great potentialities for horizontal expansion both in the west and east of the Suez Canal. Reclaimed
areas are estimated at 92 400 ha, and 84 000 ha in the west and east of the Suez Canal, respectively. The
zone totally depends on the Nile source for irrigation. Climatic conditions vary in respect to rainfall and
relative humidity, leading to diverse production patterns. Historically, the zone is characterized by the
production of horticulture crops: mango, strawberry, green beans, peach, citrus, and cantaloupe.
4. Western Delta region: total area of the zone is estimated at 179 000 km2, representing around 17.7%
of the total area of Egypt. Agricultural areas are estimated at around 738 360 ha, representing around
22% of the total agricultural areas in Egypt. Agricultural areas in Al-Beherah governorate represent more
than 2/3 of total agricultural areas in the zone. There are great potentialities for horizontal expansion
both in the zone, particularly parallel to the North West Coast extending from Hammam Township to
Marsa Matrouh due to the availability of wide rangelands; around 20% of the sheep and goat population
are concentrated in this zone. The zone has diverse water sources: Nile water, ground water and rainfall
particularly in the northern areas where rainfall is enough for agricultural production. Climate conditions
are relatively mild in respect of temperature, allowing for diversified agricultural products. The zone is
well known for high-quality sheep. The zone contributes to agricultural exports of traditional field crops
(cotton and rice) and non-traditional crops (potatoes, citrus and grapes).
5. Middle Delta region: total area of the zone is estimated at 139 000 km2, representing around 13.7%
of the total area of Egypt. Agricultural areas are estimated at around 966 000 ha, representing around
28.7% of the total agricultural areas in Egypt. Al-Daqahleya and Kafr el Sheikh governorates are two
of the largest governorates, reaching 255 780 ha and 267 120 ha, respectively. Domyat governorate is
the smallest with about 44 100 ha. The zone has diverse water sources: Nile water, ground water and
rainfall particularly in the northern areas where rainfall is enough for agricultural production. Moderate
climate conditions prevail in all the governorates of the zone, with limited rainfall during the period from
November to February, hence allowing for diversified agricultural products. The zone includes rice,
sugar beet, berseem, long-staple cotton and the milk producing belts. In spite of the fact that the zone
contributes around 25% of cow milk, and around 35.5% of buffalo milk, and in spite of the fact that dairy
production has been localized in the zone, there is no institutional framework for milk collection in the
zone. Agricultural residues particularly rice straw, constitute a major problem facing the zone, causing
negative environmental effects.

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

18

4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS


Livestock numbers between 2000 and 2009 are shown in Table 6. There has been a steady increase in
numbers, particularly of cattle (from 3.53 to 5.00 million), buffaloes (3.38 to 4.00 million), goats (3.43
to 4.55 million) and sheep (4.47 to 5.50 million) over this period. Camels, however, have declined from
141 000 to 110 000 head.
Scale of enterprise
Three production sub-systems can be identified. These include traditional extensive (Figure 11), semiintensive (Figure 12) and intensive (Figure 13) sub-systems. The first one is characterized by low production inputs and outputs and holding of few animals. It is practised for sheep, goats, cattle, and buffalo in the various agro-ecological zones. The intensive production sub-system is characterized by high
inputs and outputs as well as very large livestock holdings. This sub-system operates on the production
of exotic cattle and constitutes about 10% of the total animal production system. About 60% of white
meat production comes from intensive units. The semi-intensive sub-system depends on improved local
breeds and husbandry techniques. It is practised for lamb and calf fattening.
Small farmers who do not own agricultural lands or control agricultural holdings are the main source
of animal production.
Table 6. Livestock population 20002009 (in millions except for camels and horses)
Item

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

66

67

Cattle
84
Buffaloes
62
Sheep

4.47

62

62

62

66

4.67

Goats

4.47

Asses
Poultry
Source: FAO Statistics, 2011.

(a) Buffaloes are fed shrubs on a canal bank


Figure 11. Traditional extensive animal production

(b) Typical small farmers have 2-3 heads and


feed them on berseem

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

(a) Hybrid cattle from local and foreign breeds

19

(b) Buffaloes grazing berseem

Figure 12. Semi-intensive animal production

(a) Typical farm with intensive animal


production

(b) High potential breed fed on high quality feed.

Feeding systems
The feeding system is considered one of the key
factors which play an important role in animal
development and improvement (El-Nahrawy,
2008a). Egypt has little effective rainfall, with
the highest of 200 mm being unequally distributed and on limited areas; therefore, Egypt has
poor rangeland, although vast areas of more
than 10 million ha exist. Egypt depends mainly
on Egyptian clover (berseem) as the key forage
crop. The cultivated area of berseem ranges from
1 050 000 ha to 1 260 000 ha in Delta and the
Nile Valley annually. There is big competition
between berseem and wheat, especially on old (c) Milking parlour for mechanical milking of cattle
land where the productivity is the highest for
both crops. Although there is a wide gap between Figure 13. Intensive animal production
the available and the required feed, there is a very
rapid development in the animal wealth to meet the high demand for animal products. The new development in animal wealth depends mainly on concentrates for which the main raw materials are imported
with hard currency. Although there is no good and reliable existing follow up recording system for livestock and available feed records, the total feed requirements for animal wealth are estimated at about

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

20

Table 7. Sources, amount, nutritive value and percentages of total available feed according to 2003
records
Source

Amount in
1000 MT

Available TDN
in 1000 MT

% of total
feedstuff

Available DCP
in 1000 MT

% of total
feedstuff

Good roughages; Berseem


(fresh & hay) & other forages
Poor Roughages (Straws)

2.42

Grains & Seeds, milling by


products (bran) & Oil seed
residues
Corn silage
Sugar cane tops

24

Groundnut straw
Total

81 180

11 090

100.0

1 568

100.0

Source: Economic Affairs Department, Agricultural Statistics Bulletin (2003), Ministry of Agriculture, Cairo, Egypt

Table 8. Estimated feed balance according to

23.5 million tonnes of dry matter, 11.0 million tonnes recorded livestock population in 2003
TDN [Total Digestible Nutrients], and 1.9 million
Total feed in Mt
TDN
DCP
tonnes DCP [Digestible Crude Protein] based upon
Available
estimating the maintenance, growth, and production requirements approach and considered constant
Required
weigh, milk production and daily gain rate indicaBalance
tors. The sources of available feed, the total amount
% self sufficiency
82.96
150.2
and nutritive value in terms of TDN and DCP in metric tons (Mt) and the percentage of the total available Source: El-Nahrawy, 2008a.
feed as it was estimated according to the 2003 records
are presented in Table 7. The cut-and-carry feeding system is associated with small scale irrigated farms
(less than 12.5 ha) where fodder crops (berseem, alfalfa, sorghum, Sudan grass, etc.) are harvested to
feed farm animals (see Figure 14a). Surplus green fodder is sold in nearby towns and villages to other
livestock owners. Weeds and crop residues may be used.
In large-scale dairy farms irrigated fodder crops are produced, mainly berseem in winter and sorghum
and maize (corn) silage in summer. Mechanical harvesting (chopping) and hand cutting are both practised
and green fodder is fed among total mixed rations to the dairy herd, while any surplus may be made into
hay which is baled and stored. Locally made concentrates or processed feeds are also fed to maintain
high milk yield. Crop residues are available from irrigated crops. They include cereal straws and stovers
(wheat, grain sorghum, maize, rice, faba beans, and berseem for seed production), cereal stubble, legume
haulms, groundnuts, sugar cane and sugar beet tops and baggasse and vegetable crop residues (water
melon, beans, peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers). Agro-industrial by-products include molasses, oil seed
cakes (cotton, flax, sunflower, and sesame), grains and by-products of cereal milling (bran) (Table 7).
There was a surplus of DCP (+524 000 Mt), while there was a deficit of TDN (2.3 million Mt) in
the animal feeding balance in 2003 (Table 8). It is very difficult to have precise estimates of feed balance without getting reliable records of livestock numbers and available feed. Both animals and area
devoted to feed production are dynamic and it is very difficult to keep up with the rapid changes unless
good coordinated systems exist, which is not the case. But in general, depending on many signs such
as population increase, high demand for animal products, increases in the share of animal products and
high demand for feed, the real numbers of animals and available feed are probably higher than those
recorded and real estimates of feed balances must be attempted to enhance future planning and strategies
and to ensure that the gap is closed. Indeed, there were and still are surpluses of DCP, but farmers need
to be advised to properly feed their livestock in order to avoid wastage of very expensive resources such
as the protein from berseem. Farmers start feeding their animals ad lib (Figure 14b) as soon as berseem
becomes available. This is considered a waste of protein which represents the most expensive portion
of the ration. Feeding on berseem only will result in an imbalanced ration which will negatively affect

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

Figure 14a. Sheep and goats being fed alfalfa.

21

Figure 14b. Buffaloes fed ad lib on berseem only

animal productivity. To overcome this problem, it has been proposed to supplement animals fed on berseem only with silage made from corn stovers.
Integration of livestock into farming systems
Livestock/crop production is an excellent example of an integrated production system (Figure 6) where
fodder crops and agricultural residues provide the feed for animals. The majority of small farmers (about
90% of farmers) practice this system. Animal manure makes the soil more productive than would be the
case in their absence. More than 50 million m3 of animal manure are produced annually. An important
part of the forage is grown on the farm whereas concentrates are purchased. Some hay and straw are
often bought. Although green forage and silage form the greater part of the ration, hay and concentrates
are also important.
The main characteristics of the animal production sector are:
own agricultural land.
of less than 2.1 ha.
animals.

less than 2.1 ha.


animals.
Limitations
ity of young animals and low daily gain and reproduction performances well below the genetic
potential. Inadequate feeding results from low pasture productivity especially in the rainfed areas
and inadequate use of berseem due to lack of producer knowledge of nutritional value and feed
requirements.
points, and some water is of poor quality.
of inferior males and low replacement of old females. These practices lead to little or no genetic
improvement in the herd.
of Agriculture.

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

22

salinization, decrease of aquifers, and degradation of range due to overgrazing, and cultivation of
marginal lands.
ers.

Socio-economic limitations
Limited land, limited water and rapidly growing population require continuing intensification of production on a limited natural resource base. Intensification requires ensuring high yields, greater input
efficiencies, reduced negative environmental effects, a greater knowledge base and efficient management. Moreover, changes in the socio-economic environment have been brought about by changes
in urbanization and higher incomes and the need for more export earnings or substitution of imports.
Socio-economic constraints to improving the pasture and forage resources and to animal production can
be summarized as follows:

materials (especially corn and soybean) are imported, put extra pressure on farm financial resources and stability and on ranges.
tion with imported products.
products for both food and living, most of the above constraints highly affect them economically
as well as socially.

5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE


Egypt has little effective rainfall, at most 200 mm unequally distributed and on limited areas; therefore,
Egypt has poor rangeland, although vast areas of more than 10 million ha exist. According to FAO
(2010) rangelands provide only 5% of animal feed in Egypt. Egypt depends largely on Egyptian clover
(berseem) as the main forage crop and on crop residues and by-products. The cultivated area of berseem
ranges from 1 050 000 to 1 260 000 ha annually in the Delta and Nile Valley. There is a competition
between berseem and wheat, especially on old land, where the productivity is the highest for both crops.
Although there is a wide gap between the available and the required feed, there is very rapid development in the animal wealth to meet the high demand for animal products. Recorded share from animal
protein is about 17 g/day in 1997 and is planned to be increased to 21g per capita by 2017 (FAO, 2003).
The degradation of natural resources in Matrouh and Sinai governorates is part of an endemic cycle of
poverty, lack of viable production alternatives and uncoordinated regional development. The agricultural
system in Matrouh governorate, in contrast to most other agricultural activities in Egypt, is mainly based
on rainfed land use, and in particular on animal production. Livestock production has been the mainstay
of agricultural production in Matrouh governorate. There are approximately 500 000 sheep, 150 000
goats, 15 000 donkeys, 8 000 cattle and 12 000 camels. In addition, most households have some poultry
(mainly chickens) and pigeons. Land use revolves around livestock production either through grazing
of rangelands or through opportunistic barley (and to a lesser extent wheat) cultivation with both grain
as well as the straw used for feeding of small ruminants or cattle. Livestock production has adapted to
the climatic trends (with 2 or 3 dry years per decade). Although livestock production under prevailing
climatic conditions is risky, livestock owners are able to avert the risk somewhat through:
1- The purchase of barley and processed feed.
2- By transporting their flocks to the Delta or Siwa oasis during years of severe drought.

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

23

Still there are fluctuations in animal numbers, and owners tend to keep nearly all their replaced
females in good years.
Traditionally, rangeland grazing was the basis of livestock production of the area. The grazing lands,
especially in the coastal area, have evolved through the last century. These lands, during the last few
decades, have been exposed to degradation caused by transformation into agricultural land (increased
water and wind erosion), by over-grazing leading to further erosion and narrowing of the botanical composition. Plant growth in the region is concentrated in a short pulse during the short, and erratic, rainy
season. The few major ecologically significant events in the area are the tank battle during World War II
(with some lands still inaccessible today because of mines) and the rapid expansion of coastal tourism.
Increasing animal numbers have disturbed the balance between available forage and carrying capacity. Rough estimates of carrying capacity vary from 04.2 feeding units (FU) [FU = nutritive value
equivalent to 1kg of grain barley]/ha in dry years to 17 FU/ha in good years, with an average of 8 FU ha.
Actual grazing land available per sheep unit is estimated at 7 ha. The stocking density, however, varies considerably during the grazing season. Most flocks graze the southern rangelands during the rainy
season, but have to abandon this pasture in the dry season due to lack of water. This lack of water is an
important factor in restricting the use of the rangeland, and in protection of its quality. Approximately
70% of available land in Matrouh governorate is rangeland (Figure 4). The southern desert area, which
is communally owned, is generally in good shape as its use is limited by the lack of water, consequently
it is mainly used by camels or, seasonally, by small ruminants. The pressure on the northern rangelands
in the settlement zone closer to the coast is higher.
Rangelands
Depending on the definition used various sources put the area of rangelands in Egypt at somewhere
between 4 and 10 million ha. Hegazi et al. (2005) indicate that the main areas of rangelands are distributed over the Northwest Coast (NWC) region, the Sinai Peninsula and the Halayeb-Shalayin region
in the South East corner of Egypt bordering the Red Sea. In these regions livestock raising based on
rangelands as a principal source of feed is traditionally the main occupation of the bedouin inhabitants.
The range vegetation in most parts of Egypt is characterized by stands of shrubs and semi-shrubs
with a cover of short-lived annual forbs and grasses. The density of the dominant shrubs varies with
soil type and with location, generally decreasing with increasing distance from the coast. Perennial
forbs and grasses are present but only a few (e.g. Plantago albicans) are considered of any significance.
Although the density of annuals varies from one vegetation type to another, rainfall amount and distribution through the season exert a strong influence on species density and biomass production. Different
range types can be differentiated in sandy, rocky, swampy and salt marsh areas, on coastal plains, foothills and areas of higher or lower elevation and in wadis, and on the basis of the main species including Gymnocarpos decander, Artemisia herba-alba, Haloxylon scoparium, Plantago albicans, Anabasis
articulate, Suaeda pruinosa etc.
Main range types include:
Salt-Marsh: Characterized by a high density of salt tolerant shrubs. In general the amount of grazing
obtained is small and generally restricted to the early autumn, due to the low palatability of the dominant
shrubs which have a high salt content;
Rockland: Characterized by the dominance of the semi-shrub Gymnocarpus decander, and found on
rocky ridges and eroded slopes. Although plant density here is generally low, the palatability to small
ruminants of most species is high. The vegetation is grazed mainly in the summer and autumn;
Sub-desert: Similar to rockland in the presence of Gymnocarpus sp. but with a greater species diversity
and productivity due to the more favourable soil conditions. This vegetation type is found mainly south
of Sidi Barrani and is grazed chiefly in winter and spring;
Coastal Plain: Artemesia herba-alba is the dominant species. It occupies areas with relatively deep,
medium-textured soils. The density of shrubs and herbs is high;

24

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

Eroded Coastal Plain: Characterized by open stands of the low shrub Haloxylon articulatum and occupying degraded sites in the northern plains. Species diversity is low as is the density of annuals. Provides
some summer and autumn grazing;
Inland Dunes: This range type is on stabilized and semi-stabilized inland sand dunes, mainly in the Sidi
Barrani area. The characteristic species is the perennial forb Plantago albicans associated with numerous other shrubs and perennial forbs and grasses. The density of both perennial and annual species is
high in stabilized areas. Grazing of this vegetation takes place mainly in spring and early summer;
: Characterised by the salt-tolerant, semi-shrub Suaeda pruinosa, with low species diversity and density. Grazing takes place mainly in early summer and in the autumn; and
Desert Range: The main range type in the southern area. The soils are often shallow or covered with a
thin sheet of sand. The dominant species here is the desert shrub Anabasis articulata. Plant density is
very low, with the exception of low areas receiving additional moisture from run-off. This vegetation
type is grazed year-round by camels whilst sheep and goats may obtain some grazing here mainly in the
winter.
For each range type major and other species were listed by Hegazi et al. (2005). For example:
Plantago albicans
- one of the most important and valuable range types in Sidi Barrani district and on the plateau south of El-Omayed on medium and semi-stabilized aeolion deposits. The main
palatable associate species are Echiochylon fruticosum, Helianthemum lippii, Gymnocarpos decander,
Saliva aegyptiaca, and Pituranthos sp. In good rainy years, it provides the bulk of grazeable forage for
sheep and goats. In the Plantago ranges, grazing in the late winter and spring is provided by Plantago
albicans and annuals, while the other perennial shrubs, sub shrubs and dried annuals are the main grazing resources in late spring and early summer.
Artemisia herba-alba
- occurs mainly in the area 1020 km inland from the coast, occupying medium deep calcareous loamy to sandy loam soils around Sidi Barranni, Ras El-Hekma, Fuka and
Dabaa. Artemisia herba-alba communities are frequently found in mixture with Haloxylon and Anabasis
sp. Asphodelus microcarpos is often a dominant associate in degraded phases of this range type due to
its low palatability and low grazing value. This range type is mainly grazed during late summer, autumn
and early winter.
Although the natural plant cover of Egyptian deserts is quite low and scattered, the flora in the North
West coast is relatively rich and diverse. The Western Mediterranean Coastal land is one of the richest
phyto- geographical regions in Egypt because of its relatively high rainfall; it contains 50% of the total
flora of Egypt. The most important land-use in this area is grazing.
Studies have shown that the natural plant wealth in the coastal sand dunes rangelands in the north
west of Egypt was composed of twenty four plant species belonging to sixteen families (Table 9). The
Poaceae family has the highest number of species (four species) followed by Fabaceae and Brassicaceae
families (three species for each), then Asteraceae family (two species) and one plant for the remaining
families. Tackholm (1974) and Boulos (1995) indicated that Fabaceae and Asteraceae are the largest
families in Egypt and had the greatest number of plant species. According to palatability, fifteen species
(about 62.5%) were palatable and nine species (about 37.5%) were un-palatable. Twenty plant species
were perennials (about 83%) and only four species (about 17%) were annuals.
The indigenous range vegetation is considered the most important and basic animal feed in the
arid and semi- arid regions of Egypt. It is characterized by poor quality, low nutritive value and poor
productivity during the dry seasons (El Shaer, 1996). Rehabilitation of the nutritive ranges and/ or cultivation with salt-drought tolerant shrubs is recommended, as a national strategy to improve the native
rangelands (El Shaer, 1999), Many species of leguminous shrubs, particularly Acacia spp. have proved
to be useful multipurpose shrubs in North Africa and Egypt (El Lakany, 1987). A. saligna is the most

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

25

Table 9. List of species, palatability, and life duration of plant species recorded in coastal sand dunes
during spring 2005 and 2006
Family Name
Poaceae

Brassicaceae

Fabaceae

Asteraceae
Apiaceae
Boraginaceae
Caryophyllaceae
Geraniaceae
Labiatae
Amaryliidaceae
Resedaceae
Solanaceae
Tamaricaceae
Thymelaceae
Zygophyllaceae

Scientific Name
Aelumpus lagopoides
Ammophila arenana
Lophochloa cristata
Phragmites australis
Cakiie maritima
Diplotaxis acris
Mohcandia nitens
Lotus polyphyllus
Lygos raetarn
Ononis vaginalis
Silybum mahanum
Varthemia candicans
Eryngium campestre
Echium sericeum
Silene succulenta
Euphorbia paralias
Erodium hirtum
Saliva lanigers
Pancratium maritimum
Reseda decursiva
Lycium shawii
Tamarix nilotica
Thymelaea hirsuta
Zygophyllum album

Palatability
p
p
p
p
p
p
Up
P
P
P
Up
Up
Up
p
Up
Up
p
p
Up
p
p
p
Up
Up

*Life duration**
Per.
Per.
Ann.
Per.
Ann.
Ann.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Ann.
Per.
Per.
Per.
Per.

Vernacular name
Molleih
Gazzoof
Deal elcoat
Hagna
Figl el-gamal
Yahaq
Rakham
Qarn el gamal
Retem
Hotteiba
Shoak e! gamal
Zaatr el-Hornmar
Shaqaqeel
Saaq el-hamam
Sakraan
Timmeir
Mariamiya
Bosseil
Rigl el ghraab
Awseeg
Abal
Mithnaan
Ratrayt

Adapted from Abbas et al. 2008; *P: Palatable; Up: Unpalatable; Ann. : Annual; Per. : Perennial.

successful of the Australian Acacia due to its tolerance of drought, ability to grow on poor soil and higher
production of biomass.
Rangeland production and carrying capacity of rangelands
Few data are available from actual stocking rate trials to estimate the carrying capacity of the range
types. However, according to Hegazi et al. (2005) estimates have been made by experts based on their
field observation and their long experience in the region. Carrying capacity varied from 1.212.02 ha/
sheep unit/year for the Plantago albicans Echiochilon fruticosum association growing in deep sandy
soil to 6.07 ha/sheep unit/year for the Haloxylon Anabasis articulata range type. A field survey was
carried out to estimate the carrying capacity of the different range types extending from Burg El-Arab to
Sulloum. The carrying capacity estimates varied greatly for the different range types, ranging from 1.62
6.07 ha/sheep unit/yr for Plantago albicans, 2.028.09 ha for Artemisia herba-alba, 2.0210.12 ha for
Gymnocarpos decander; 3.2412.14 ha for Anabasis articulata; 3.2411.33 ha for Suaeda pruinosa and
6.0714.16 ha/sheep unit/year for twenty five Haloxylon ranges. Estimated carrying capacity differed
from 1.62 ha/sheep unit/year (SU) for Fuka grazing district to 8.90 ha /sheep unit/year for El-Salloum
district.
The annual / feed production of the rangelands varies between nil in poor rainfall years to 74.13
98.84 feed unit (FU) with an average of 49.42 FU/ha/year. On the basis of the barley area in 1990 and
an estimated production of 568.34 FU/ha of barley, the carrying capacity of the area extending from Ras
El-Hekma to Salloum was estimated at about 93 000 sheep units (SU)/ year while the actual number of
small ruminants raised at the time was about 214 000 SU, indicating that the rangelands can only support
about 44% of the actual number of the small ruminants raised. This also indicates that at least 60% of
feedstuff requirements came from outside resources. Any shortage in the supply of feeds from outside
the region would have to be offset from rangelands because the grazing animal will be maintained on the
rangelands causing more deterioration of rangelands and lower production of grazing herds.
A recent report estimated the consumable productivity of some plant communities in Bakbak project
(south west of Sidi Barrani) at between 49.4274.13 kg/dry matter /ha/year. The average productivity of
the whole area was estimated at 61.78 kg/ha/year. This area is a part of the natural poor degraded range

26

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

type. Due to proximity to the mountains, the wadis in Halayeb basin have more floristically variable
vegetation with higher frequency of palatable species than wadis in Shalateen basin. However, Shalateen
rangelands are suffering more from heavy overgrazing due to excessive animal numbers, cutting and
uprooting of trees and shrubs. Furthermore, herbaceous plant communities in the wadis of Shalateen
basin are dominated by the unpalatable species of Sasola baryosma and Francoeria crispa. In the wadis
of Halayeb basin there are more palatable species dominated by Panicum turgidum which is good forage grass. Similarly, Wadi Hedrerba in Halayeb basin has the richest grazing resources and the highest
potential for conservation and improvement of the wadis. The most important forage species in Wadi
Hederba are Panicum turgidum, Aristida mutabilis, Artemisa judaica and Lycium shawii which could
provide good useful grazing resources for small ruminants and camels during winter and summer.
Some typical rangeland scenes are shown in Figures 15 a-e.

Figure 15a. A typical example of arid natural


rangeland in Egypt

Figure 15b. Overexploitation has resulted in a


deterioration of the rangelands.

Figure 15c. Shrubs and trees provide forage in


early spring

Figure 15d. Overexploitation of Egyptian


rangeland dominated by trees and shrubs

Figure 15e. A typical Artemisia dominated desert


rangeland in Egypt

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

27

Fodder crops
In Egypt forages for livestock feed are mainly produced under irrigation. Irrigated forages contribute
about 18% of the value of field crops and are grown on the average on about 1 260 000 ha annually
(FAO, 2003). These include: multi-cut (long season) berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum L.); single cut
(short season) berseem (Figure 16A); alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (Figure 16B); hybrid forage sorghum
(Sorghum sudanense X Sorghum bicolor) (Figure 17) and Sudan grass (Sorghum sudanense (Piper)
Stapf.) (Figure 18); pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) (Figure 19); fodder maize (Darawa) (Zea mays
L.) (Figure 20); maize or corn silage (Figure 21); and minor forages such as cowpea (Vigna sinensis
L.) (Figure 22), teosinte (Euchlanea mexicana Schrad.) (Figure 23), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) (Figure 24), guar (Cyamposis tetragonoloba) (Figure 25), fodder beet (Beta vulgaris L.) (Figure
26), chickling pea or rough pea (Lathyrus sativus), elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach),
Amshoot (Echinochloa stagninum) (Figure 27), sesbania (Sesbania sesban L.) (Figure 28), and triticale
(Figure 29). Area, productivity and production of fodder crops in 2005 are presented in Table 10.
Forage crops, mainly fresh berseem during
winter and as hay during summer, represents about
60% of available local feed. Summer forage crops
such as Darawa, millet, sorghum, cowpea, Sudan
grass, corn silage represent about 5% of the available local feed. Alfalfa which provides feed all the
year around represents about 5% of the available
local feed. A feed calendar showing good roughages during the whole year in Egypt is presented in
Figure 30. It is clear from the figure that the feed
shortage peak is during summer. The total available
feed is about 11.2 and 1.568 million Mt of TDN
and DCP, respectively. Good roughages such as
berseem, hay, alfalfa, and summer forage crops;
Forage production
forage sorghum, Sudan grass, millet, and Darawa
represent about 82.9 and 55.92% of the total DCP
and TDN, respectively. While straws, grains and
seeds, and milling by-products and oil seed residues, corn silage, sugar cane tops, and groundnut
straw make 2.42 and 23.08, 8.29 and 7.03, and 4.15
and 6.58, and 1.53 and 6.49, and 0.7 and 0.9% of
the total DCP and TDN, respectively. On the other
hand, the total required TDN and DCP in 2003 were
Forage production

Table 10. Area, productivity and production of


forage crops in Egypt in 2008
Crop

Area
under
crop (ha)

Productivity Production
t[green
(t)
wt]/ha

Berseem:
Long season
Short season
Alfalfa
Darawa
Sudan grass

Seed production
Figure 16a. Egyptian clover (berseem) c.v. Fahl

Hybrid sorghum
Amshoot
Barnyard grass
Cowpea
Pearl millet
Fodder beet
Green fenugreek
Rough pea

28.6

78.4

24

28

Forage production

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

Seed production

Alfalfa performance on desert and marginal land

Figure 16b. Alfalfa

Figure 17. Forage sorghum: Seed production

Figure 18. Sudan grass for forage production

about 13.5 and 1.044 million Mt, respectively. The percentage of self-sufficiency in 2003 was estimated
at 82.96% and 150.2% for TDN and DCP, respectively (Table 8) (El-Nahrawy, 2008a).
The role of Egyptian clover in Egyptian agriculture
Berseem is a vital component of the agricultural system of the Nile Valley and Delta. Including berseem in
the rotation has been Gods gift for maintaining the sustainability of the Egyptian agricultural system for
more than five thousand years of intensive use (El-Nahrawy, 2008b). Fairchild (1902) stated that berseem
is the great forage and soiling crop of the Nile Valley. Throughout Fairchilds assessment of the evolu-

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

29

Figure 19. Pearl millet for forage production

Figure 20. Darawa (fodder maize) is planted


during winter to secure the feed supply until
berseem becomes available

(a) Maize silage ready for feeding

(b) Mixed silage from maize and cowpea before


ensiling

Figure 21. Maize (corn) for silage

(a) Forage production

(b) Cowpea in mixture with millet

Figure 22. Cowpeas

tion of Egyptian agriculture he considered berseem to be indispensable as a rotation crop during the centuries of Egyptian cotton production. Fairchilds sharp insight has been assured after the establishment of
the High Dam. The High Dam prevented the enrichment of Egyptian soil by the silt and nutrients that had
been carried by the Nile water during flooding. The role of berseem in soil sustainability could had been
suspected or confounded with other causes before the High Dam establishment. But after the erection of

30

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

Figure 23. Teosinte

Figure 24. Italian ryegrass

Figure 25. Guar

Figure 26. Fodder beet

Figure 27. Amshoot

Figure 28. Sesbania

the High Dam which precluded enriching the soil with silt and nutrients during flooding, there is no doubt
that only berseem is responsible for the sustainability of Egyptian lands for more than five thousand years
of intensive cultivation. Moreover, Graves et al. (1996) concluded that it is difficult to imagine a greater
honour to be bestowed on a crop than to give it credit for sustaining agricultural production in such an
ancient land. Berseem has been called in California the magic crop due to its multiple advantages and
rare or no disadvantages in comparison with crops like alfalfa. In addition to the fact that berseem has
enabled livestock to be closely integrated with cropping for many centuries, it is:

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

increasing soil fertility with its ability to add


high level of nitrogen (5371 kg/ha) by symbiotic N2 fixation (Graves et al. 1996). It means
that every year there is more than 714 000
tonnes of fixed nitrogen (AbdElHady, 1993;
Graves et al. 1996) added to Egyptian cultivated lands. Additionally, berseem has been
for more than five thousand years considered
indispensable in rotation with cereals, cotton
and other crops due to its high N2-fixing ability.
Without growing (mainly) berseem and other
legumes, the high productivity of non-leguminous crops could not have been maintained.

31

Figure 29. Triticale

Figure 30. Fodder crops feed calendar

(Figure 31). This practice is sometimes referred to as ploughed down. The crop is allowed
to grow to approximately 410 cm height and is then incorporated into the soil. This is done
with either a mouldboard plough or a disk. Single- or double-disk harrows followed or preceded by heavy-duty cultivators can effectively incorporate the green crop into the soil. Berseem
green manure begins to decompose very rapidly and releases nitrogen as soon as it is turned
under. Thus, the amount of commercial fertilizer added for the succeeding crop can be
decreased. An increase in yield and quality
has been observed in cereal crops that were
subsequently grown on land where berseem
had been used as green manure or even planted for forage production.
Important in a rotation as it helps to conserve
the soil and prevents wind and water erosion
and increases the organic matter content of
the soil especially in newly reclaimed lands as
well as improving soil structure and physical
and chemical properties. It provides a cereal
disease break in cropping rotations.
Figure 31. Berseem as green manure

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

32

insects which help to biologically control


the deleterious ones. No pesticides are used
during the lifetime of the crop except when
recommended, especially in the establishment stage. Therefore, berseem is considered as a very good place of shelter for
rearing the beneficial insects which help to
bring back the balance lost due to misusing
pesticides.
as environmentally of controlling all kinds
of weeds, especially wild oats. An infested
square metre of wheat with ten plants of Figure 32. Using berseem to control weeds
wild oats would cause more than 30% loss
in yield. Wild oats is considered a big problem in Egypt especially in wheat and there is an existing National Campaign for control of wild oats. Many means for wild oats control are being used
but the only means which is both efficient and viable economically and environmentally friendly
is cultivating the invested land with berseem (Figure 32). In other words, rotating berseem with
wheat (Table 11). Comparing the crop sequence for four successive seasons from 1991/92 to
1994/95, continuous planting of wheat resulted in an increase in the number of spikes of wild
oats more than 16 times and a decrease in the productivity of wheat about 12 times in comparison
with rotating berseem with wheat. It should be mentioned that the pronounced decrease in wheat
productivity is a result of both weeds and the absence of nitrogen added through rotating berseem
with wheat. Repeated cutting from five to seven times per season will remove growing weeds and
result in a depletion of the weed seed bank (Table 12). It is very common to see fields, planted with
wheat following berseem, free of weeds without applying any treatment for weed control. Berseem
is considered unique in this merit in comparison with faba bean (Tables 11 and 12). Frequent cutting will give no chance for weeds to produce seeds unlike the case for faba bean. Without berseem
in the rotation with cereals and cotton, Egypt would not be able to achieve the higher productivity
existing for these crops (El-Nahrawy, 2008b).
Table 11. Effect of crop rotation on the control of wild oats in wheat fields (1995)
Crop sequence

Wild oats
no. spikes/m2

91/92

92/93

93/94

94/95

Wheat

Wheat

Wheat

Wheat

Berseem

Berseem

Berseem

Wheat

Berseem

Wheat

Berseem

Wheat

Faba bean

Berseem

Wheat

Wheat

Wheat production
kg/ha

227

Adapted from El Hasanan S. El H., 1996.

Table 12. Effect of crop rotation on the number of wild oat seeds in the soil (seed bank) in 1995.
Crop sequence

Wild oat seeds per 500 g soil

91/92

92/93

93/94

94/95

Wheat

Wheat

Wheat

Wheat

Berseem

Berseem

Berseem

Wheat

Berseem

Wheat

Berseem

Wheat

Faba bean

Berseem

Wheat

Wheat

Adapted from El. Hasanan S. El. H., 1996.

At planting

At harvest

8.4

Difference

7.6

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

33

cept especially when it is planted after


rice (Figure 33). Soil preparation after rice
would cause a lot of disturbance to soil
structure and micro-flora as well as soil
conservation due to increasing the probability of wind and water erosion as well as
soil compaction.
(7 400 tonnes in 1989) as a major component (86%) in Egypt seed exports (Egyptian
Financial Group, 1991). High demands for
berseem seed from East Asian and Southern Europe countries have seen Egyptian
annual exports of berseem seed increase to
thirty thousand tonnes in 2009. Berseem
must be cross-pollinated to produce seed.
Cross-pollination or the transfer of pollen
from the anthers of one plant to the stigma
of another plant is done primarily by bees
(Figure 34). Flowers are pollinated when
bees are collecting pollen or nectar. A bee
forces its proboscis down the corolla tube,
causing the stamens and pistil to protrude
from the interior of the floret.

Figure 33. Berseem planted after rice with no-till

Figure 34. Bees cross-pollinate berseem and lead

rotations with rice for salt-affected soils. to high seed production


Graves et al. (1996) reported that berseem
is well known for its use in reclamation of salty lands in Egypt. It is described by Lauchli (1984)
and Winter and Lauchli (1982) as moderately tolerant to salinity, more so than wheat and strawberry clover but less than barley. It is better suited for specific rotation with rice at Serw Research
Station in Demmitta Governorate where EC [Electrical Conductivity] up to 15 mm/cm has existed
in some locations.
all crops.
ant scene during the season.
improving the forage productivity and dry matter content in comparison with pure stands. Barley,
annual ryegrass, triticale and oats in different proportions have been used as components of these
mixtures (Rammah and Radwan, 1977; Haggag et al., 1995). A companion grass reduces the risk
of bloating especially from the forage of first harvest due to high moisture content, complete loss
due to disease or adverse conditions such as salinity, drought, low temperature and low light intensity. Results proved that including ryegrass in mixtures with berseem lead to an increase in DM
content, especially in the first cut, and intake. Berseem is very rich in protein and poor in energy.
Therefore, including it in mixtures with grasses will lead to a balanced ration and consequently
will be reflected in animal performance.
foraging from berseem. Any decrease in the area cultivated with berseem will affect honey production.
grapes and citrus, date palm, and pear. This is mainly done with the objectives of controlling
weeds, intensifying production as well as enriching the soil with nitrogen and organic matter.

34

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

land reclamation especially the desert


or marginal land. A rule of thumb for
successful land reclamation is establishing a livestock/cropping system.
Organic matter incorporated into the
land from berseem as well as animal
manure and fixed nitrogen by bacteria
will convert the marginal and poor
soil to fertile soil within three to five
years which is impossible under any
other single system. Manure is a complete nutrient source, containing all of
Figure 35. Berseem planted underneath apple trees
the major nutrients, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients. In addition,
manure promotes biological activity in the soil and enhances the soil physical properties.
[For more information on berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) see < www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/
Gbase/DATA/Pf000414.HTM >].
Forage seed production
Berseem occupies about one million ha seasonally. Nevertheless, berseem has not received much
attention compared to cereal crops; i.e. wheat, rice and corn (SADS, 2009).The remarkable increase in
cereal productivity in the last two decades (from 8 million Mt in 1980 to more than 22 million Mt in 2009)
is mainly due to developing high-yielding cultivars and making their certified seed available to growers.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for berseem. In spite of developing high-yielding berseem cultivars
such as Helally, Sakha 4, Gimmeza 1, Sirw 1, Giza 6 and Sakha 3, and making their breeder and basic
seeds available through the Forage Crops Research Department (FCRD) for producing certified seed by
the Central Administration of Seed Production (CASP), little or no certified seed is produced by CASP.
No major efforts are made to provide local as well as export markets with seeds of properly identified
and pure cultivars of berseem in spite of the existence of all the essential factors for a successful seed
industry. Farmers have traditionally produced their own seed or purchased their requirements from the
local markets. However, local seed is both uncertified and uncontrolled, and the quality of such seed
on local markets is rather poor. Forage seed production is less developed compared to other crops. This
situation is due probably to the fact that forage seeds are considered by all stakeholders and mainly
by farmers as a by-product of forage production. Therefore, most seeds are produced and distributed
through the informal sector. The public sector plays almost no role in forage seed production, and
instead it virtually directs all its efforts to supplying seed of strategic crops such as wheat, corn and rice
as mentioned above, though small amounts of high quality seed are being made available to growers
of forage crops (including berseem, alfalfa, hybrid sorghum, millet, cowpeas, Sudan grass, teosinte
and guar) by the FCRD and ARC. Departmental regulations set standards for foundation (basic) and
certified seed of forage crops. In addition to varietal development, the research program conducted at
various research stations all over the country provides small amounts of high-quality seed, which helps
to upgrade commercial supplies. In this way, the genetic identity of seed is maintained at those research
stations through several generations. However, the amount of seed produced through research stations
is very small (less than 1%) relative to domestic and foreign demands. It is worth mentioning that in
spite of the fact that the average productivity of berseem for the whole country is 68.7 tonnes/ha, the
average productivity of Kafer El-Sheikh governorate is 111.6 tonnes/ha. The improvement of berseem
productivity in Kafer El-Sheikh is mainly due to the distribution and dissemination of improved berseem
varieties seed from FCRD located at Sakha Agricultural Research Station. Moreover, recorded berseem
productivity at Sids Agricultural Research Station from areas planted with certified seed of improved
varieties and applying the recommended packages by FCRD surpassed double the average productivity.
Demand for berseem seed is high due to its annual growth habit and its high sowing rate under Egyptian
conditions. To meet the annual demand to sow one million ha, 47 619 tonnes of berseem seed are

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

35

required. Based on an average seed yield of around 595 kg/ha (250 kg/fed.), about 80 000 ha would be
needed for seed production (around 8% of the total berseem area) just to meet the local demand.
Due to the unique characteristics of Egyptian forage crops and the numerous ecotypes and varieties
present, especially for berseem and alfalfa, large amounts of these seeds are exported to many countries
(El-Nahrawy and Rammah, 1995; El-Nahrawy et al., 1996). Exported berseem seed (7 400 tonnes in
1989) was the major component (86%) in all seed export and reached about 30 000 tonnes in 2009.
Considering the progress which has been achieved in cereal productivity, it is relatively easy to make
progress in berseem productivity as well, which could result in transferring about 125250 thousand ha
to the wheat area from the berseem area, assuming there is no acute shortage in feed, which could be
the case. If there is a big gap in feed which is likely the case, then it is unlikely that the wheat area can
be increased. To eliminate this possibility different approaches to increase the feed supply will have to
be found. It is very easy to produce certified berseem seed which could cover most of the berseem area
within the five year plan, but the real problem is to create demand for it. To create demand we have to
demonstrate to farmers the merit of the new technology and at the same time make the seed available
at an encouraging price. This is why the coverage percentage of wheat and rice certified seeds is on the
average about 25%. The net return is playing a big role in determination of the coverage percentage.
What is needed to achieve this objective is support for the FCRD activities as well as effective collaboration among FCRD, CASP, Central Administration of Agricultural Extension (CAAE) and Central
Administration of Seed Certification (CASC). The activities should be carried out as follows:
1. Technology transfers of the developed high-yielding berseem cultivars (Helally, Sakha4, Gimmeza1, Sirw1, Giza6 and Sakha3) as well as the optimum cultural practices to the farmers fields
through workshops, demonstration plots and field days.
2. Improve berseem basic and certified seed supply and create demand through an encouraging price
to farmers.
3. Encouraging farmers to leave half the area or even the whole area of demonstration plots seeded with
basic seed for seed production to accelerate the dissemination of the high yielding berseem cultivars.
Limitations
1. The public sector plays almost no role in forage seed production.
2. Since forages are not final products and are not easy to determine (such as for cereals), then it
is necessary to encourage farmers to use certified seeds which needs demonstrations to convince
farmers about the differences between good
Table 13. Crop residues, average amounts
seed and bad seed.
3. As long as the farmers are not aware of the available annually and when they are available
(2002)
important role of good and certified seed from
Crop residue
Average
Availability
improved cultivars of the forages, the demand
amounts
times
available
for seed will be very limited; hence the role of
annually (Mt)
the private sector would be very small.
Rice straw
Sept/Oct.
4. Unfortunately, the important role of berseem
Wheat straw
Oct/Nov.
in Egyptian agriculture is not clear for the
Corn
straw
Sept/Oct.
policy makers.
Bagasse
March/April/Oct.
5. Pollination mode for berseem is still unclear
Cotton straw
Sept/Oct.
and considering berseem as a self-pollinated
Barley straw
April/Dec.
crop makes limitation for isolation from
Lentil
straw
March/April
neighbouring fields.
Crop residues and by-products
Since there is limited natural grazing in Egypt,
large ruminants mainly feed on crop residues.
Buffaloes eating rice straw are a familiar sight.
By-products are a part of the rations of dairy stock
and fodders are often complementary to straws and
stovers. Table 13 contains details of various crop

Fenugreek straw

Chickpea straw

Lupine straw

Faba bean straw

Groundnut straw

Oct/ Nov.

Total

25 639 759

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural


Economics Issue No.3, Cairo, Egypt, 2002.

36

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

residues, average amounts available annually and Table 14. Estimation of feed from waste and
when they are available. The amounts of wheat, by-products
Source
Amount
rice and corn straw and bagasse available are
(MT)
considerable.
Potatoes
As farm crop residues and wastes can cause
environmental problems unless they are reTomatoes
cycled, their use or conversion and use as unconventional or non-traditional feedstuffs can be
Oranges
doubly beneficial. Upgrading the nutritive value
Mangoes
of residues could be an important means of closing the feed gap. For example, in India (ICAR,
Grapes
1996) the digestibility of wheat straw improved
by 4045% and voluntary intake by 86100%
Dates
when treated with urea (4 kg urea dissolved in
65 litres of water, sprayed or sprinkled on 100 kg
Waste
of straw) and stored for 10 days. Crude protein
Layers slaughter
content increased from 3.5 to 7.5% and growth
rate by 200250g a day. The growing rate oth272 448
erwise was 100120 g a day. The approximate
Broilers slaughter
cost of treating straw was Rs 200250 per tonme.
The treated straw contained 5557% TDN and
Total feed from waste (estimated)
34% DCP. In Egypt where most, if not all, of
Source: Unpublished data
the wheat straw is consumed without treatment it RUM = ruminant manure in litres;
is clear that if the farmers could be convinced to 30% x 0.2 Kg x 1 Year: 30% (30% of Municipal refuse is assumed to
usable as animal feed) x 0.2 Kg (amount produced per person per
apply the technology of treating wheat straw with be
day ) x 1 Y (365 days or 1 year).
urea, then the outcomes could be considerable.
The amount of wheat straw produced annually
in Egypt is about 7.3 million tonnes (Table 13). The growing rate from using the same amount of feed
could be doubled if the technology of treating the straw with urea could be transferred to and adopted
by farmers. Similarly, converting corn and sorghum straws to silage at the right time would improve its
nutritive value. The total amount of farm residues is estimated to be more than 25 million Mt (Table 13).
In addition, feed from various forms of waste totals some 3 million Mt and includes: animal by-products
(poultry manure and offal, tannery waste) and plant by-products (potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, grapes,
dates, brewers waste, and kitchen waste) (Table 14).
Research results from various studies have shown that there were no big differences between
traditional and non-traditional feedstuffs in terms of their nutritive value as measured by chemical analysis
and amino acid contents and also between various non-traditional feeds (Table 15), and also average
body weight gain, feed consumption
and conversion and feed efficiency. Table 15. Chemical analysis and amino acid contents of
When non-traditional feedstuffs tomato seed meal (TSM) and cotton seed meal (CSM)
Item
TSM (%) CSM
Item
TSM CSM
were fed to four-week-old chicks
(%)
(%)
(%)
there were no significant differences
Crude protein
Amino acids
between tomato seed meal and
Gross protein value
Methionine
cotton seed meal in terms of animal
6.4
+ Cystine
performance (body weight gain and
Threonine
feed consumption) although there
Fibre
7.7
were feed efficiency differences
Ash
7.6
Leucine
2.2
(Table 16). These results are very
N- free extract
encouraging in terms of making use
Moisture
7.8
Phenylalanine
2.2
of agro-wastes.
Amino acids
Histidine
Egypt is planting about 1.7
Lysine
2.2
Arginine
million feddan (714 000 ha) with
Tryptophan
corn for grain production in addition Source: Unpublished data

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

37

to about 81 thousand feddan (34 020 ha) for grain sorghum Table 16. Body weight gain, feed
annually. After harvesting, most corn and sorghum straws consumption and efficiency of 4- weekare unusable and can cause environmental problems, such as old chicks fed cotton seed meal (CSM)
and tomato seed meal (TSM)
helping the spread of rats and insects i.e. corn borer. On the
Item
Ration 1 Ration 2
other hand if these corn and sorghum straws could be used
(CSM)
(TSM)
in the right time i.e. after harvesting the ears and grains,
Final body weight (g)
to make silage, Egypt would be able to save about 20%
Body weight gain (g)
of consumed berseem as well as improving productivity.
Feed consumption (g)
428.2
Now most of the corn and grain sorghum areas are
Feed efficiency
2.8
planted with hybrids which stay green at maturity. Silage
g feed required per g gain
made from corn and sorghum straws of these hybrids,
Significant at P<0.05
directly after harvesting ears and grains, with added Source: Unpublished data
molasses is comparable in nutritive value of 6070% of
silage made from the whole corn plant. The estimated
corn and grain sorghum straws in Egypt during year 1995 were about 4.31 and 1.5 million Mt;
respectively. The estimated total digestible nutrients (TDN), crude protein (CP) and the digestible
protein (DP) were 56.6%, 5.67%, and 3.11%, respectively (Bendary et al., 2001). Using corn and
grain sorghum straws for making silage would create about 2.3 million Mt of TDN (5.81 million
Mt of corn and sorghum straw x 70% dry matter X 56.6 % TDN), 231 815 Mt of CP (5.81 million
tonnes straw x 70% dry matter x 5.67 % CP) and 126 077 Mt of DP (5.81 million tonnes straw x
70% dry matter x 3.11 DP).
Silage made from corn and sorghum straws would be ready for feeding by the end of September to
October which is considered a very critical time for feed availability especially for small farmers. This
time is characterized by acute shortages in feed due to the termination of summer forage crops and
unavailability of winter forage crops (mainly berseem). In addition to using the silage made from corn
and sorghum straws to fill the feed gap, it could be used with berseem as a balanced ration to feed the
animals which will lead to saving at least 20% of the consumed berseem as well as achieving higher
productivity due to a balanced diet. Berseem covers about 96% of animal energy requirement and 177%
of protein requirement during winter season (Oct. to May) and 60 and 79% of the requirements during
the whole year.
Increasingly grains of new maize hybrids are harvested while most of the stovers stay green and
have suitable moisture content for ensiling (Bendary and Younis, 1997). Therefore, fresh corn stover is
produced in large quantities as green residues at maize harvesting time (about 40-50% of the corn plant
remains in the field after grain harvest; Johnsonet al., 1966). This corn residue offers a large potential
source of energy for ruminants and ensiling the residue may reduce field losses, improve palatability
and give the producer more flexibility (Berger et al., 1979). Moreover, the success in making good quality silage from corn stover with and without additive will be of practical importance in animal feeding
(Bendary and Younis, 1997; Etman et al., 1994; Gad Alla, 1991; Mostafa et al., 2000; Sabbah et al.,
2007; Sittisak et al., 2009; Zedan, 1998).
Work under the FAO Project TCP/EGY/3102 (Steele et al., 2009) demonstrated that rice straw is a
crucial ingredient of livestock feed during the second half of the year. It was estimated that 25% of the
straw is chemically treated with urea and/or ammonia on the farm to up-grade the nutritional value and
palatability. However, the extent of industrial livestock production remains to be determined, and thus
the extent of commercial-manufactured livestock feed also remains unknown. Both are likely to feature
in long-term agricultural planning for Egypt. The small-scale livestock producer depending upon lowcost feed is likely to face issues of cost/supply in the near future as competition for straw from other
users arises. The MALR and others have made considerable efforts over the years to encourage the use
of crop residues for livestock feed for small-scale livestock producers. Many of the recommendations
provided by Nour (1985) have become part of traditional practice; and remain valid for small-scale production into the foreseeable future.
However, in spite of a number of past studies which have proposed strategies (e.g. Abou Akkada and
Nour, 1986) for the development of animal feed resources, todate it has been difficult to translate strategies into practical action countrywide and much remains to be done.
a

a
b

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

38

Summary of the benefits of converting farm-residues and agro-wastes to conventional


feedstuff
Benefits of recycling farm-residues and agro-wastes as feedstuffs are:
1) Minimizing the competition between humans and animals on grains and pulses.
2) Minimizing the pollution. Recycling farm residues of various crop straws as well as wastes of different vegetables and fruits to feedstuff will help to solve a growing pollution problem.
3) By recycling farm residues and waste, cheap feedstuffs will be available to be used in formulating
feed thus reducing the cost of producing meat and animal by-products. In addition, more cereals
and pulses will be available for human consumption.
4) By using recycled farm residues and wastes, a new industry will be created.
5) Reducing imports of feedstuffs.

6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE


RESOURCES
Rangeland rehabilitation
Traditionally, rangeland grazing was the basis of livestock production. During the last few decades these
lands have been exposed to degradation caused by transformation into agricultural land (increased water
and wind erosion), by overgrazing leading to further erosion and narrowing of the botanical composition.
Increasing animal numbers have disturbed the balance between available forage and carrying capacity.
Greater emphasis needs to be given to the establishment of viable management systems to alleviate the
degradation of the pasture lands in the Northern Coast and Sinai as well as introducing medic-cereal
rotations and developing and distributing fodder shrubs to control desertification.
Possible ways to alleviate the degradation:
Conservation and where possible improvement of existing grazing lands (coastal, low plateau and high
plateau) could be achieved through:
land users, of improved fodder trees and shrubs (Figures 5a &b).
able nutritive value.
seed collection and multiplication programs and, finally, over-seeding selected rangelands with
seeds of good nutritive value local grass and legume species.

Establishment of improved pasture


As mentioned above many of the common rangeland species occur naturally in Egypt. Considerable
research and development have been carried out on these in the past through the Matrouh Resource
Management Project (MRMP) aimed at realizing sustainable resource management and alleviating poverty in its mandated area, extending over 320 km along the North West Coast of Egypt with 60 km in
land on average. The area has a semi-desert environment, moderated by maritime influence and a fragile
resource base, with a low and highly erratic rainfall averaged at about 150 mm on the coast and up to
20 km inland, but drastically declines thereafter. Research has been conducted to monitor and evaluate
fenced plantations of selected range management areas and feed units planted under variable agro- climatic and socio-economic conditions for three years. The approach was assessed in terms of the impact
of fencing on biodiversity enhancement, fodder production of the natural vegetation and economics
of fencing in terms of total benefits and cost recovery period. It was shown that a satisfactory success
could be realized due to implementing this range development approach in comparison with other common approaches. Fencing led to reviving 13 annual and perennial range species that were temporally

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

39

extinct. Moreover, fodder dry matter has been increased by 3.11Mt/10 ha, which is equivalent to 1400
FU Identification of existing indigenous species and collecting seeds and trying to re-seed it have been
attempted as well as applying restricted grazing and using these as demonstration plots for the nomads.
A development of co-operatively managed artificial pastures in Matruh area in the North West Coast had
little success because of the shortage of rainfall (not more than 120 mm). The establishment of sown
pastures proved to be very difficult in areas with annual rainfall less than 200 mm and in these areas
extension of developing a tree seedling nursery capacity in the villages, and planting, in cooperation with
local land users, of improved fodder trees and shrubs was suggested. Over the past four decades, large
plantations of Atriplex spp. appear to be one of the best ways to rehabilitate desertified and eroded areas.
Integration of forages into farming systems
Integration of forages, especially Egyptian clover, into farming systems is considered very unique not
only in terms of agronomic aspects of fodder production in the cropping sequence, but on the complete
package of socio-economic and technical issues as well as the sustainability of the natural resources,
especially soil fertility, and on marketing of both forages and animal products. Including berseem in the
cropping system is a excellent choice for soil improvement and increasing soil fertility with its ability
to add high levels of nitrogen (5371 kg/ha) by symbiotic N2 fixation (Graves et al. 1996). It means that
every year there would be more than 714 000 tonnes of fixed nitrogen (Abd El-Hady, 1993; Graves et
al. 1996) added to Egyptian cultivated lands. Additionally, berseem has been for more than five thousand
years considered indispensable in rotation with cereals, cotton and other crops due to its high N2-fixing
ability. Without growing mainly berseem and other legumes, the high productivity of non-leguminous
crops could not have been maintained. Also, using the crop residues for animal feed is common in
the irrigated areas. As noted above, feed supply is a serious constraint on animal production in Egypt.
Imported raw materials of feeds, which lead to a trade deficit, have been much used traditionally. Now
there is renewed interest in all local feed resources. Large quantities of crop residues (more than 25 million tonnes) are available and frequently used by farmers.
Tree fodder
Range vegetation is generally characterized by the dominance of perennial shrubs with some trees in
the middle plateau and the southwest coastal ranges. Wadi beds in the north and middle parts of Sinai
represent a valuable source of grazing for sheep and goats on account of the lush spring growth of the
herbaceous vegetation. Rangeland vegetation is generally depleted from overgrazing and shrub uprooting for fuel wood. Overgrazing results mainly from the lack of alternative feed resources particularly
during the long dry summer season. Efforts have been made to introduce fodder shrubs e.g. Atriplex
nummularia and Acacia saligna in the sandy areas of the north coast to fix the dunes and provide supplementary grazing for animals. Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) was also recently introduced as a
multipurpose tree for sand dune fixation, production of protein rich fodder and fuel wood. Establishing
viable management systems to alleviate the degradation of the pasture lands in the Northern Coast and
Sinai as well as introducing medic-cereal rotation and developing and distributing fodder shrubs to control desertification is badly needed (Figures 5a & b).
Utilization of saline water for crop/forage production
Establishing irrigated forages such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), ryegrass (Lolium perenne L), pearl
millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.), cowpeas (Vigna sinensis L.), Egyptian clover (Trifolium alexandrinum
L.), Rhodes grass and fodder beet (Beta vulgaris L.) using poor quality underground water is considered
one of the best ways of overcoming shortages in feed, especially in desert areas (Figure 36). Since most
of the rangelands are degraded because of recurrent drought and overgrazing due to mismanagement, it
is crucial to find sustainable sources of feed resources, especially forage crops. The Bedouins in Sinai
are using drip irrigation systems for vegetable production to optimize and increase water use efficiency,
since water resources are scarce. Forage crop production was begun using the available resources, starting with the cultivation of alfalfa under drip irrigation using salt-affected water on a commercial level.
This new system of planting alfalfa using drip irrigation has been well-accepted by farmers due to the
considerable need for feed in animal wealth development. After this other forages such as fodder beet,

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

40

Figure 36a. Alfalfa and Rhoades grass under


drip irrigation with saline water (E.Cw 8.4 =
5376 ppm)

Figure 36b. Egyptian clover under drip irrigation


with saline water (E.Cw 6.8 = 4352 ppm)

Figure 36c. Pearl millet under drip irrigation


with saline water (E.Cw6.8 = 4352 ppm)

Rhodes grass, pearl millet, Egyptian clover and cowpeas have been introduced in order to have forages
available year round (Figure 36). Following this success and the excellent adoption by farmers, it is
intended to repeat the system in rainfed areas such as Matruh governorate.

7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND


PERSONNEL
The following institutions are involved in forage research and development:
Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation - this is the lead institution in forage resources
research and development. The mandate of the institution has paid great attention to the collecting,
preserving, maintaining, evaluating, utilizing, enhancing and improvement of forage plant genetic
resources. Varietal development of high-yielding and resistant and/or tolerance to biotic and abiotic
stresses as well as high quality fodder is of high priority. Several traits and characters including
high yielding, disease and insect resistance and heat, salinity, drought tolerance serve as the basis
of crop improvement in these programs. Local ecotypes have been used at an international level to
produce commercial cultivars such as Big Bee [berseem clover c.v.] in Louisiana in USA . Special
emphasis was put on forage legumes particularly the genus Trifolium alexandrinum and Medicago.
Berseem and alfalfa germplasm from Egypt has been widely used in breeding programs around the
world.
Research Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation - this is the lead institution in
determining the forage quality and upgrading the nutritive value of farm residues.

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

41

Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation - this is the lead institution in range and pasture
research and management.
teaching, practical training and research on rangelands and fodder crops. Many of the M.Sc. and
Ph.D. research projects focus on forage resource problems from an ecological, agronomic, nutritional or economic angle.
Contact persons
Forage Crops Research Department
Dr. Mohye El-Din Abd El-Geleel
Director, FCRD
P.O. Box 12619, Gamma St., ARC, Giza, Egypt
Tel: 00202-35731813
E-mail: mohye52@yahoo.com
Dr. Farouk Metwalli
Forage breeder
Sakha Agric, Res. Stn. Kafer El-Sheikh, Egypt
Tel:0020473230170
Dr. Magdy Maher Mosad
Forage Management Specialist
P.O. Box 12619, Gamma St., ARC, Giza, Egypt
Tel:00202-35731813
E-mail: magdykomeha16@hotmail.com
Dr. Salah Salem Mohamed Abo Feteih
Forage Breeder
P.O. Box 12619, Gamma St., ARC, Giza, Egypt
Tel:00202-35731813
E-mail: Salahabofeteih@Gmail.com
Dr. Amal Ahmed Helmy
Micobiologist
P.O. Box 12619, Gamma St., ARC, Giza, Egypt
Tel:00202-35731813
Dr. Wafaa Sharawy
Forage Geneticist
P.O. Box 12619, Gamma St., ARC, Giza, Egypt
Tel:00202-35731813
Dr. Mostafa Abd El-Gawaad
Animal Nutritionist
P.O. Box 12619, Gamma St., ARC, Giza, Egypt
Tel:00202-35731813
Dr. Gamal Ramdan
Forage Management Specialist
Sakha Agric, Res. Stn. Kafer El-Sheikh, Egypt
Tel:0020473230170

42

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile

Dr. Mohamed Hagagg


Forage Breeder
Serw Agric. Res. Stn., Damyata, Egypt
Tel:00202-35731813
Dr. Mohamed Nour El-Deen
Rangeland Management Specialist
P.O. Box 12619, Gamma St., ARC, Giza, Egypt
Tel:00202-35731813
Mr. Mostafa El-Nahrawy
Animal Nutrition Specialist
P.O. Box 12619, Gamma St., ARC, Giza, Egypt
Tel:002010-7740885
E-mail- mostafaelnahrawy@yahoo.com
Ms. Shereen El-Nahrawy
Forage Breeder & Fodder Control Specialist
Sakha Agric, Res. Stn. Kafer El-Sheikh, Egypt
Tel:0020473230170
E-mail- mnahrawy 50@yahoo.com

8. REFERENCES
Abbas, M.S., M.H. El-Morsy, M.A. Shahba & F.I., Moursy. 2008. Proceedings of the 12th meeting of the
sub-network on Mediterranean forage resources of the FAOCiheam inter regional cooperative research
and development network on pastures and fodder crops, Portugal 912 April 2008.
Abd El-Hady, A. H. 1993. Potassium and its effects on crop productivity in Egyptian soils. Bull. (in Arabic).
Soils and Water Res. Inst., Agric. Res. Centre, Giza. Egypt.
Abou Akkada A. R. & A. M. Nour. 1986. By-product utilization in Egypt: A proposed strategy for the
development of animal feed resources. ARNAB (African Research Network for Agricultural By-products.
Towards Optimal Feeding of Agricultural By-products in Africa. Proceedings of a Workshop held at the
University of Alexandria, Egypt, October 1985. ILCA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Abouzeid, M. 1992. Study on irrigation. Water Res. Centre, Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources,
Cairo, Egypt.
Bendary, M.M. & M.A. Younis 1997. Evaluation of maize stalks for feeding dairy cows. Egypt. J. Appl.
Sci., 12 (8) 1997.
Bendary, M. M.; G. H. A. Ghanem; E. S. Soliman; E. A. Amer & S. A. El-Zeer. 2001. Nutritional
evaluation of ensiling fresh maize stover. 8th Scientific Conf. on animal nutrition (specific issue). 2325
Oct. Cairo, Egypt, pp 105116.
Boulos, L. 1995. Check list Flora of Egypt, Vol. 1. Al-Hadara Publishing, Cairo, Egypt.
. Offering memorandum and prefeasibility study of investment in Egypts
seed industry. Proceedings First Egyptian National Seed Conference, 2022 May 1991, pp. 197209.
El-Bagouri, I. H. M. 2008. Management of productive lands of Egypt: A presentation in IGBP Regional
Workshop MENA. 2021 November 2008, Cairo, Egypt.
El-Beltagy, A. T. & A.F. Abo-Hadeed. 2008. The main pillars of the National Program for maximizing the
water-use efficiency in the old land. The Research and Development Council. MOALR. (in Arabic). 30
page bulletin.
El-Hasanan S. El-H. 1996. The basics of identification of wild oats and means of controlling it in wheat
fields. Technical bulletin No. 296 (in Arabic), CAAE, ARC, MOA.

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43

El-Lakany, H.H. 1987. Protective and productive tree plantations for desert development. Proc. of 2nd Inter.
Conf. on Desert Development, 2531 January, 1987, Cairo, Egypt.
El-Nahrawy, M. 2008a. Pasture and forage status in Egypt limitations and opportunities. The 9th
International Conference on Dryland Development Sustainable Development in Dryland; Meeting the
Challenge of Global Climate Change, 2008, Alex. Egypt.
El-Nahrawy, M. 2008b. The Vital Role of Egyptian Clover in Egyptian Agriculture. The 9th International
Conference on Dryland Development Sustainable Development in Dryland; Meeting the Challenge of
Global Climate Change, 2008, Alex. Egypt.
El-Nahrawy, M. & A. Rammah.1995. Current status and prospects of alfalfa seed production and use of seed
in Egypt. pp.336-340, Proceedings, 3rd International Herbage Seed Conf. June 18-23, 1995. Martin-LutherUniversitat, Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.
El-Nahrawy, M., A. Rammah & O. Niemelainen.1996. Seed production potential of forage crops in Egypt.
International Herbage Seed Production, Research Group, Newsletter. Pp. 1113.
El Shaer, H.M. 1996. Rangelands as feed resources in the Egyptian desert : Management and improvement.
Proc. of the Inter, Conf. on Desert Development in the Arab Gulf Countries, State of Kuwait, 2326 March,
1996.
El Shaer, H.M. 1999. Impact of drought on livestock production : Egypt experience. Proc.of Workshop on
Livestock and Drought Policies for Coping With Changes, FAO Desert Research Centre , 2427 May,
1999, Cairo, Egypt.
Etman, K.E.L., E.A. Khafagi, W.H. Abdel-Malik, M.K. Hathout & M.F. El-Sayes 1994. Conservation of
green summer forages as silage and its utilization in feeding growing lambs. Egyptian J. Anim. Prod., Vol.
31, Supplement Issue Nov. 175.
Fairchild, D. G. 1902. Berseem; the target forage and soiling crop of the Nile Valley, Egypt. US Dept. Agric.,
Bur. Pl. Ind. Bull., 23:120, pp. 114.
FAO. 1996. Agro-ecological Zoning Guidelines, FAO Soils Bulletin 73. Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations, Rome.
FAO. 2003. Strategy of Agricultural Development in Egypt Up To 2017. MOA. May 2003, Cairo, Egypt (In
Arabic).
FAO. 2010. Valuing Rangelands for the Ecosystem and Livelihood Services. Thirtieth FAO Regional
Conference for the Near East. Khartoum, the Republic of the Sudan, 48 December 2010. Pub. NERC/10/
INF/6 December 2010.
Gad Alla, S.A.H.Z. 1991. Technology of making silage with special reference to its nutritive value. M.Sc.
Faculty of Agric. Zagazig University.
Graves,W.L., W.L.Williams & C.D. Thomsen. 1996. Berseem clover ; A winter annual forage for California
Agriculture; University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Publication 21536.
Haggag, M. El-H., Z. M. Marei & M. Z. El-Nahrawy. 1995. Performance of mixture of ten ryegrass
varieties with Egyptian clover in comparison with pure stand. J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ., 20(11):
45374547.
Hegazi, A.M., Afifi, M.Y., El Shorbagy, M.A., Elwan, A.A. & El-Demerdashe, S. (eds) 2005. Egyptian
National Action Program to Combat Desertification. Arab Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Agriculture and
Land Reclamation, UNCCD, Desert Research Centre, 128p.
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book printed in June 1996, ISBN-7164-000-1.
Johnson, R.R., K.E. McClure, E.W. Klosterman & L.J. Johnson. 1966. Corn plant maturity. IIIDistribution of nitrogen in corn Silage treated with limestone, urea and diammonium phosphate. J. Anim.
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Lauchli, A. 1984. Salt exclusion: An adaptation of legumes for crops and pastures under saline conditions.
In: Strategies for crop improvement, ed. R.C. Staples. New York: Wiley.
Mostafa, M.R.M., M.F. El-Sayes, K.E.I. Etman & M.K. Hathout 2000. Evaluation of maize stover silage
in comparison with whole maize silage sheep rations. Animal Production in the 21st Century Challenges
and Prospects. 1820 April 2000. Sakha, Kafer El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Nour, A.M. 1985. Utilization of Rice straw on Small Farms in Egypt. Paper. Available at: www.fao.org/
wairdocs/ilri/x5487e0b.htm

44

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Rammah, A. M. & M.S. Radwan. 1977. The influence of seeding rate and cutting management on yield and
botanical composition of a berseem-grass mixture. J. Agric.Crop Sci. 145: 103111.
Sabbah, M., A.M. Allam, M. El-Hosseeniny, M. Fadel, H.M. El-Banna & A.R. Refai, 2007. Nutrients
utilization and performance of lambs fed rations containing corn stover treated chemically and biologically.
J. Agric.Sci. Mansoura Univ., 81:19932007.
Sittisak, K., C. Pala,S. Rungson & W. Metha, 2009. Effect of protein level in concentrate and urea-treated
corn silage on rumen ecology and milk production in lactating dairy cows. Pak.J. Nutr., 8: 588591.
Steele, P., A. El-Hissewy & A.T.Badawi 2009. Exploring opportunities for making better use of rice residues
in Egypt,Technical Manual: Agro-Industrial Use of Rice Straw, Project TCP/EGY/3102, FAO, MLAR,
ARC, Cairo, Egypt.
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Tackholm, V. 1974. Students flora of Egypt. Cairo University Pub.
Winter, E., & A. Lauchli. 1982. Salt tolerance of Trifolium alexandrinum: Comparison of the salt response
of T. alexandrinum and T. pratense. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 9:221226.
Zedan Afaf, H. 1998. Silage of corn stalks and sugar cane tops in dairy cow rations. M.Sc. Thesis, Fac. Agric
Cairo Univ., Egypt

9. CONTACTS
Mohamed A. El-Nahrawy, Ph.D.
Plant Breeder & Plant Geneticist
Field Crops Research Institute
Agricultural Research Centre
Ministry of Agriculture & Land Reclamation
9 Gamma St., Giza, Egypt
P.O. No. 12619
Mobile Phone : (002010)1084160
E-mail: mnahrawy50@yahoo.com
mnahrawy@link.net
[The profile was drafted by the author in June 2011 and edited by S.G. Reynolds, J.M. Suttie and Dost
Muhammad in June/July 2011].