Problem Solution Essay-3rd draft Increase of Vegetables Prices * The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) stated that inflation has risen to 11. 7%, an increase of 0. 2 % this year over last” (Abdel Moniem, 2010). Prices of tomatoes, green beans, cucumber & green pepper’s prices have increased to be 15LE, 16LE, 6LE, and 8LE per kilo respectively. Affording basics necessities has become difficult for the middle & lower class families in view of such high inflation.
Nadia, works as a house cleaner; she is a widow and a mother of three children. “One plate of salad for a family comprised of four members, used to cost 3 LE in the past few months. Now it costs more than 10 LE. We have to eat foul & eggs instead. Now, I cannot buy vegetables every day like before”. says Nadia. The gravity of this problem implores us to explore short and long-term solutions. Immediately, the Egyptian government should direct over the increasing prices of the vegetables as a short-term solution, and re-distribute the farmlands on the long –term.
Government officials from Agriculture & the Economic Development ministries attributed the sudden increase of the vegetables prices to a wide array of reasons. The first reason is the ghastly climate change during the summer. ”This year’s heat waves caused Egypt’s tomato production to plummet from 40 tons per acre to 15 tons per acre this year. ” (Abdel Moniem, 2010). The second reason is the spread of the white flies & pests that attacked and devoured most of the crops. The third reason is the bad transportation. The fourth reason is the lack of appropriate packing of the vegetables.
The final factor is the random increase in prices by the intermediary sellers. Apparently, the soaring increase in the prices of the vegetables may lead to a number of effects on the consumption rates of Egyptian family. Some housewives enforce diet programs to their family. Other families boycott vegetables, or eat them once a week as a method of controlling their budget. Furthermore, in order to save money for food, most of the families skipped going out, traveling on holidays, or even having friends’ gathering at home. How can we avoid all these?
Instantaneously, interaction from the Egyptian government should be done to solve the crisis of escalating prices of the vegetables. Egypt is ranked as the second largest country worldwide in producing tomatoes. This season a 55% of whole harvest was damaged. (Abdel Momiem, 2010). However, government should keep an eye on those issues. In fact, when the crisis happened in September 2010, the Agriculture ministry tried to help people finding the vegetables in affordable prices. As a swift solution, the ministry opened some vegetables’ outlets in different areas in Giza & Cairo with cheaper prices.
Even though, the ministry provided 10000 tons of each kind of vegetables into these outlets with prices less than those available in the markets, yet they are not as cheap as before (Nagib, 2010). For instance, in the market, people can find the tomatoes with 12 LE/Kilo; however, the outlet sells it with 4. 50LE, but originally it was 2. 00LE/kilo a few months ago. These outlets could be a quick solution from the ministry of agriculture, but it is not an effective one. Is this quantity enough for the Egyptian residents? The government must carry out the following steps in order to deal with this crisis.
First, the Ministry of Agriculture should provide sufficient quantities of vegetables in both reasonable prices and good quality. In coordination with the neighboring countries, the ministry of Agriculture could import the needed quantities of vegetables. Importing process is expensive; however, the government should bear any extra costs, and provide the market with these commodities at affordable prices. Second, storage facilities must be well maintained, to prevent damage of the goods. For instance, storehouses, fridge trucks and domestic transfer trucks must work properly with the appropriate temperatures.
Finally, government officials should have a firmer grip on the mid sellers, so they can avoid manipulating prices. In addition, severe penalties should be applied on those mid sellers if they trade with more than the official prices. Financially, these steps might cost the Egyptian government alot, but in cooperation with the ministry of finance, they can be viable. This could be a helpful band-aid approach to help decrease prices. Government should solve this problem by re-distributing the farmland according to its quality, size and nature of the soil. Food & Agriculture Organization ( FAO) statistics stated that the agriculture land size in the year of 1970 was 4842 HA. Today those lands’s size is 3542HA. After shrinkage in the agriculture lands has occurred, the harvest quality & quantity has also decreased significantly. Re-distributing the farmland and utilizing it in efficient way might need some implementations. First, government should determine the needs and consumptions of the people in each kind of vegetables. So, Ministries of Agriculture & Population can provide the accurate rates of vegetables’ consumption in Egypt.
Second execution is determining the farmlands that are suitable for each kind of crops. For instance, Delta lands are the most suitable areas for planting tomato because of its richly fertilized soil. On the contrary, the sugar-cane needs high temperature, so Upper Egypt is the perfect location for it. Third, to reclaim unexploited constructions lands into productive agriculture areas. Recently, vegetables’ production had decreased especially in Delta area because the buildings, bridges, and factories are occupied large-scale of the agriculture land pieces.
Fourth, increase the farmers’ awareness of the climate change, so take the fundamental precautions to save the crops. Nowadays, the weather forecast’s equipment improves rapidly, and could predict the climate change in advance. Finally, sufficient fertilizers, pesticides & high mechanics should be supplied to the farmers in reasonable prices. In order to put into practice this provision, Ministry of Agriculture must distribute those pesticides & fertilizers among the farmlands equally.
Definitely, these steps require incessant cooperation between different ministries: Agriculture, Health & Population, Housing & Development and the Scientific Research. Unfortunately, this process may take years to be implemented; moreover, it needs abundant budget. Nevertheless, this long-term solution is an effective way to solve the high increase of vegetable prices in Egypt. Vegetables are the most essential nutrients that provide human bodies with the basics vitamins; to maintain a good health, and raise immunity.
Unexpected rise of vegetables prices forced people to boycott or quit purchasing these products, as they cannot afford. Government should enforce a quick strategy to reduce prices, and plan the farmlands according to the crop’s type in order to solve this problem. The government should proactively work on facilitating people’s life, and providing them with the basic needs. Treacherously, the impact of the vegetables prices raise may reach the peak very soon. Hence, the scale of poverty will elevate, and criminals’ ratios will widely expand into the Egyptian Society.
The Egyptian government should consider the vegetables prices inflation as a major crisis not as a commonplace problem. * Abdel Moniem, A (2010,October ,14/20). Food prices shooting up. retrieved October 22 2010, from Al Ahram Weekly Online Web Site: weekly. ahram. org. eg * Anonymus, Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (n. d) retrieved October 22 2010, from http://faostat. fao. org/site/377/default. aspx#ancor * Naguib, Y (2010,October,16). Agriculture outlets& markets contribute in solving the crisis. retrieved October 22 2010, from Akhbar El Youm News paper *