Egyptian strawberry production costs
Egyptian strawberry growers are facing significant challenges as unfavorable weather conditions have led to…
- Higher production costs,
- Reduced volumes,
- And a shift in the strawberry varieties being cultivated.
Emad Mahdy, owner of Al Fayruz Nurseries and an experienced consultant in strawberry production, sheds light on the current situation and its implications for the industry.
Unpredictable Climate Changes
Emad explains that while Egypt’s climate is typically ideal for strawberry farming, the country is now experiencing the effects of climate change, resulting in drastic weather fluctuations.
“We are witnessing all the seasons of the year in a single day,” says Emad, highlighting the severe disturbances and sudden temperature changes impacting the crop.
Intensified Agricultural Operations
To combat the challenges posed by the changing climate, growers have had to intensify their agricultural practices.
Fertilization and disease treatments have become more critical than ever.
Emad points out that diseases such as thrips, tetranychus urticae, powdery mildew, rotten fruits, rotten roots, and nematodes have become more prevalent.
These diseases used to occur at separate times of the year and were easily managed, but now they require continuous attention and treatment.
Rising Production Costs and Reduced Volumes
As a result of intensified operations and the need for increased disease management, the production costs have at least doubled.
Emad notes that the cost of producing a feddan (an Egyptian unit of land measurement) was around 150,000 EGP last year, with yields of 20-30 tons per feddan.
However, this year the cost has risen to 210,000 EGP, while yields have declined to 10-20 tons.
Consequently, the prices of Egyptian strawberries have significantly increased, barely covering the production costs.
Changing Varieties and Quality
In response to the challenges faced by Florida strawberry varieties, which have been particularly affected this year, growers have started adopting alternative varieties known for their disease resistance and proven success in Egypt.
Emad defends the quality of the plants, stating that the decline in production conditions is due to climate change and the spread of fungal diseases like neopestalotiopsis.
However, he emphasizes that Florida varieties still hold a significant share in strawberry production, contributing to Egypt’s status as a major exporter of frozen and fresh strawberries.
The Egyptian strawberry industry is grappling with rising production costs, lower volumes, and the need to adapt to changing climate conditions.
Growers are working diligently to manage the increased disease pressure and explore alternative varieties that offer better disease resistance.
Despite the challenges, Egypt remains a key player in the global strawberry market.
With continuous efforts and adaptations, the industry aims to sustain its position as a leading exporter of strawberries and overcome the obstacles imposed by the ever-changing climate.