Egypt's factory farming boom threatens social strife in a hungry country

Increasing demand for meat in the land of the Pyramids is leading to more intensive farming, with serious consequences for food prices, the environment and animal welfare, reports Joseph Mayton in Cairo.

Egyptians like their meat. They eat a lot of it. In order to maintain their daily, often multiple-times-per-day hunger for it, factory farming has entered the country. Often, these factory farms have been marketed to the population as 'organic', but their tactics, with closed walls and no sunlight, are part of the game of feeding the Arab world’s largest country.


The impacts from this growing industry have been felt by the population, and – in a now all too familiar cycle – as hunger grows, food prices continue to soar and the environment suffers from little to no regulation.

In April of 2009, anger at soaring meat-prices in the country boiled over, with two separate groups calling for a nationwide boycott of meat. The Egyptian Chamber of Tourist Establishments (ECTE) even called on all food outlets and companies to boycott red meat on 26th April.

'Egyptians love their meat,' café owner Waguih Samaan said at the time. He advocates purchasing from baladi – local farmers...

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