Food Security

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 589–601 | Cite as

Economic and food security benefits associated with raised-bed wheat production in Egypt

  • Jeffrey Alwang
  • Samy Sabry
  • Kamel Shideed
  • Atef Swelam
  • Habib Halila
Original Paper


Countries in the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region are dependent on imports of wheat to meet their food security needs. Mechanized raised-bed wheat production is an effective means of increasing productivity and saving scarce water, but the technology needs substantial adaptation to local conditions. This paper estimates the economic benefits from a long-term adaptive research project designed to adapt and promote mechanical raised-bed wheat production in Egypt. The technology itself is associated with a 25% increase in productivity due to higher yields, 50% lower seed costs, a 25% reduction in water use, and lower labor costs. The mechanical raised-bed program is now a component of Egypt’s national wheat campaign and it is estimated that by 2023 approximately 800,000 ha of wheat will be planted with the technology. This paper estimates that over a 15 year project horizon, the benefits will exceed US$ 4 billion, with most of the benefits accruing to more than one million Egyptian wheat producers. Other benefits include reduced wheat imports (by more than 50% by 2025), reduced dependence on international commodity markets and increased productivity on more than 200,000 ha of water-starved lands.


Wheat productivity Food security Research for development Technical change Benefits 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has a potential conflict of interest with respect to the research reported in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature and International Society for Plant Pathology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Agricultural Research CenterCairoEgypt
  3. 3.International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry AreasAmmanJordan
  4. 4.International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry AreasCairoEgypt
  5. 5.International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry AreasTunisTunisia

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