File - A farmer flattens the soil using a horse to prepare his land for growing rice in the 6th of October village in the Nile Delta province of Al-Baheira, northwest of Cairo, May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
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Even Egypt wrestles with dwindling water from its only major source, the Nile, it pushes farmers to grow more to supply the country's costly subsidized food program. The two goals, farmers and experts say, are at odds with one another. That makes Egypt the world's top wheat importer, purchasing around 10 million tonnes a year.The Nile Valley, almost the only arable land, makes up five percent of Egypt's area but is home to 95 percent of its people.Siam said the "unrealistic" plan would need 80 billion cubic meters of water a year, more than all of Egypt's Nile waters.Treaties inked while all neighbors except Ethiopia were colonized grant Egypt three-quarters of the 74 billion cubic metres of annual usable flow, a position it is keen to protect.Egypt insists that it needs its historical veto on Nile projects because upstream countries are more water-secure.
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