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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Libya: irrigation and food security in an oil-rich desert country
Author:Schliephake, K.
Periodical:African Development Perspectives Yearbook
Geographic term:Libya
Subjects:agricultural projects
food policy
Abstract:Although Libya is the richest State in Africa, its wealth stems from a single resource, oil, and therefore depends on the vicissitudes of the world market. The country's natural setting is extremely poor and local agricultural production cannot meet the demands of a quickly growing population and rising nutritional standards. Rather than rely on imports, Libyan planners have opted, for the time being, for increasing local food production, including staple crops and notably wheat and milk products, which is only possible under irrigation conditions. In search of water for irrigation, attention was drawn to the fossile reserves in several Saharan groundwater basins. However, projects to valorize the water in the Sarir/Jalu and Kufra areas in situ failed due to the harsh climatic conditions and the distance from major towns on the coast. Therefore, since 1983, the Great Man-Made River has been under construction by local and Korean companies. While it is still too early to evaluate thoroughly the full social and economic impact of the project, in terms of Libya's National Physical Perspective Plan it does make sense. Bibliogr.