November 26, 2018 / 1:02 PM / 6 months ago

Egypt's Delta Sugar raises beet planting area this year

CAIRO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Egypt’s Delta Sugar has contracted farmers to plant more than 114,000 feddans (118,314 acres) of sugar beet this year, an increase of around 20,000 feddans over the area planted last year, it said on Monday.

Ahmed Abu al-Yazid, chairman of the Delta board, said in a statement that most of the area allocated for sugar beet has already been planted, with incentives to those who had planted early.

Delta is the Middle East’s largest beet sugar producer, the company says.

Egypt, which depends on the Nile for almost all its water, is trying to expand sugar beet planting, as it consumes less water than cane.

The North African country produces about 1.3 million tonnes of sugar from sugar beet each year and expects to produce about 1 million tonnes of sugar from cane this season, which runs from January through May.

It consumes about 3 million tonnes of sugar annually.

Beet is mostly grown in the Nile Delta region while cane sugar is grown in southern Egypt. (Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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