The agriculture committee in parliament urged the government to increase the price of sugarcane by EGP 100 to EGP 500 per tonne.
MP Raef Timraz told Daily News Egypt that the current price of sugarcane is not adequate considering its planting cost. Farmers must be encouraged to continue planting cane as it is a strategic crop in Egypt.
Egypt consumes around 3.2m tonnes of sugar annually but produces just over 2m tonnes and imports the rest.
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Qabil imposed a EGP 900 per tonne tax on exported sugar in May, effective until the end of the year.
Timraz said that raising sugar cane prices will reduce the decline in planted areas, estimated at 320,000 acres, due to the high price of fertilisers.
Shakib Ahmed, a technical adviser for the Sugar Crops Council in the Ministry of Agriculture, said that an acre of sugarcane produces 48-50 tonnes per season and needs about 18 packages of fertiliser, each weighing 25kg.
The price of fertiliser is estimated at EGP 2,100 per tonne, after the recent government decision to cut the subsidy for fertilisers in 2015.
Nader Nour Eddin, a professor of agriculture at Cairo University, said that the planted areas of sugarcane are gradually retreating due to high costs and the cut of government subsidies to farmers.
“We should not depend on the import of sugarcane as its world prices always fluctuate, which affects Egyptian consumers,” he added.