| || The fellahin, Egyptian peasants of the Nile Valley, have used the same ancestral agricultural methods for centuries, working the fields with a hoe, harvesting the rice with a scythe, and carrying the sheaves on the back of a donkey or camel. The Nile Valley stretches like a fertile ribbon from the south to the north of Egypt. It is home to the world’s densest farming population; only 3 % of Egyptian territory is made up of arable land, and the entire area of 13,000 square miles (34,000 km2) is irrigated, making Egypt the most irrigated country in Africa. The rice production increased by 50 % between 1990 and 2005, making Egypt the country with the higher rice yield in the world, with 9,5 tons by hectare in 2005. Different varieties of hybrid rice, developed locally by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), permit the growth of the rice production and are supposed to reduce the gap between the production and the national consumption. The Egyptian population should increase by 75 to 100 million persons by 2025 and 3 million tons of rice additional should be necessary by 2010, against 2,8 million tons currently.
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