Egypt, where table olive production is reaching during the present year a record 500 000 tons, soaring by +150% from the previous crop year. According to official Egyptian sources, the olive industry in Egypt is oriented towards table olive production. Over the last three decades, the country’s olive growing area has expanded from 3 700 ha in 1980 to 71 428 ha in 2010. Egypt was one of the very few countries to start using micro irrigation systems at a time when nearly 96% of the world’s olives were cultivated under rain fed conditions.
At present, over 90% of the country’s total olive area is irrigated. Egypt has extensive experience in olive irrigation, especially in using poor-quality aquifer water. A National Olive Development Plan is currently being prepared for satellite image surveying of the olive area and subsequent on-the-ground verification of the distribution of the olives according to purpose (oil/table/dual purpose).
Over the last three decades the Egyptian olive agro sub-sector has seen unprecedented development. This is exemplified in the increase of the land area cultivated with olives by 25 fold from 2,185 hectares in 1975 to 54,000 hectares in 2005. During this time Egypt started to emerge as an exporting country especially in table olives.
Some olive varieties to be found are autochthonous as Ageizi Shami, Hamed Watieken, Taffahi, Sebhawi, Ageizi Akks, Ageizi Balady and Marraki. There also other imported varieties like Picual, Coratina, Kalamata and Manzanillo
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