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Egypt to cultivate digital data from agricultural sector

The government hopes “smart cards” for farmers will curtail Egypt’s black market in subsidies.
A farmer drives a tractor through smoke from burning rice straw in preparation for the next harvest, at a paddy field in the beginning of the agricultural road leading to Cairo November 1, 2014. According to local media, black clouds rising over the Delta and Cairo have become a yearly event since 1997 which environmentalists and experts have blamed largely on the burning of leftover rice straw by farmers, an agricultural waste management problem which has yet to be solved for almost two decades.  The burni
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CAIRO — A program that will provide electronic “smart cards” to Egypt’s farmers aims to eliminate administrative corruption within the Ministry of Agriculture, prevent its employees from tampering with paper documents and ensure that subsidies reach the proper recipients. 

Agriculture and Land Reclamation Minister Essam Fayed said sometimes intermediaries insert themselves between the ministry and farmers, seeking to exploit the latter and intercept their benefits. In some cases, he said, merchants have been known to represent themselves as farmers so they can import large quantities of flour and receive subsidies.

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