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Will Saudi agricultural investments in Sudan leave Egypt high and dry?

Experts say Egypt can’t afford to remain stoic about Sudan’s ever-rising water needs.
A Sudanese farmer works on his corn farm on the banks of the river Nile in Khartoum November 11, 2009.  For centuries, farmers like Berhanu Gudina have eked out a living in Ethiopia's central lowlands, tending tiny plots of maize, wheat or barley amid the vastness of the lush green plains. Now, they find themselves working cheek by jowl with high-tech commercial farms stretching over thousands of hectares tilled by state-of-the-art tractors -- and owned and operated by foreigners. Picture taken November 11,
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CAIRO — Saudi Arabia has been steadily boosting its agricultural investments in Sudan in recent years, raising concerns in Cairo that any increase in Sudan’s use of Nile River water will come at the expense of Egypt’s share.

Riyadh has been encouraging Saudi investors to pump more money into Sudan in conjunction with Sudan’s participation in the Saudi-led intervention against the Houthis in Yemen. Yet internal reports prepared by Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Ministry, along with the Agriculture and Land Reclamation Ministry, confirm that Sudan is already using its entire allotment of Nile water, according to a government official briefed on the issue who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.

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