Friday, February 04, 2011
Egypt and Wheat
There is an article today discussing the fact that one of the causes of the current unrest in Egypt is the scarcity and price of food in that country. As I once noted, at one point Egypt was a huge exporter of wheat, and now it is the world's largest importer of wheat. Egypt basically imports half the wheat it consumes. This is exasperated by the fact that Egypt has one of the world's highest levels of per capita wheat consumption. By all accounts, Egypt has boosted domestic production, tripling production in the 80's and 90's. However production can't keep up with the population increase. The population of Egypt was estimated at 3 million people at the beginning of the 19th century, and it was over 70 million at the beginning of the 21 century.