Libya - Agriculture

Only about 1.2% of the country is cultivated. As of 1998, irrigation covered about 470,000 ha (1,161,000 acres) of the cultivated land.

Agriculture is the only economic sector in which private ownership is still important. Cereals are grown in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica; agriculture in the Fezzan is concentrated in the oases. Virtually all crops are grown for domestic consumption. Nevertheless, most agricultural products must be imported; the cost, in 2001, was $790 million. Estimated agricultural output in 1999, in tons, included potatoes, 209,000; onions, 180,000; tomatoes, 240,000; wheat, 168,000; and barley, 75,000. The 1999 production of fruits, in tons, included watermelons, 212,000; oranges, 42,000; dates, 132,000; and olives, 190,000.

Libya is investing a significant share of national revenues in agriculture in the hope of someday becoming agriculturally self-sufficient; cultivation has been changing from subsistence farming to highly mechanized operations. Development plans aim to increase irrigation and introduce and extend the use of advanced techniques; seeds and fertilizers have been subsidized. Areas singled out for development include the Al-Jifara Plain in Tripolitania; the Jabal Akhdar, east of Banghazi; part of the Fezzan; and the oases of Kufrah and Sarir. In the Kufrah oasis, large, untapped water reserves are being utilized to help provide fodder for sheep. In 1984, Libya embarked on a massive project to pipe water to the coast from underwater aquifers. The project was designed to transport two million cu m of water per day via 2,000 km (1,240 mi) of pipeline from 270 artesian wells in the east to connect Sirte and Benghazi. The first phase was inaugurated in 1991 at a cost of $5 billion; the total project is estimated to cost $25 billion. In all, the scheme would provide 50 years of irrigation to the coastal areas, where 80% of Libya's agriculture is located.

A government agency markets farm produce and has authority to operate cooperatives and farms. The Agricultural Bank has been provided with sufficient capital to make short- and long-term loans easily available.

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Brandi Warner
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May 16, 2007 @ 4:16 pm
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Dec 12, 2010 @ 3:03 am

I enjoyed reading this article. I shall be pleasesed if I could receive further information on Libyan agriculture and farm machineries used there.

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Aladdin Forghany
Tyler hernandez
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Dec 24, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
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