Tripoli - 15/12/2017

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Industry & Trade

Agriculture

Although it contributes only 9% of GDP, agriculture is considered a major sector in the national economy. In 2001 the number of farms owners was 176,658. 33.7% of whom were practicing agriculture work as their main activity (only 56,566 people in total). When comparing the results of the two agricultural censuses that were made in the years 2001 and 1987, one can see the most of the new people engaged in farm work were not actually farmers, but other people who wanted to have a second activity. Furthermore, the arrival of water from the Great Manmade River Project to those areas encouraged many people to bu agricultural land for the same reason. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that the number of farmers who were dedicated to agricultural work was less in the year 2001 incomparison to the 1987 census with a ratio of 38.3% while the ratio of the farm owners who were not dedicated to agricultural work increased. We see that the agricultural activity is concentrated in certain areas in the north and south of Libya. The total sum of the area of agricultural land in Libya is nearly equal to 1,809,596 hectares. As a result of the dry weather and water shortages over the last years, 62.2% of those areas did not receive water.

The total number of agricultural workers who were dedicated to work on agricultural farms according to the results of the economic and social survey carried out between 2002 and 2003 was 65,073 farmers. This was thus a ratio of 4.8% to the total manpower, which had a total of 1,364,709 people. Over the last ten years, Libya has witnessed a decrease in the number of most fruit trees. This was due to the increase in the number of farm owners who were not dedicated to agricultural work in combination with the scarcity of water and the urban extension occurring on planted areas neighbouring to the cities. Such a decrease in trees, however, did not include the date palm trees whose numbers increased to 3,439,885 according to an agricultural census in 2001. This is resulted in an increase by a ratio of 1.6% to the 1987 census results. As for the total number of other fruit trees: olive trees represent 26.77% of the total number of fruit trees in Libya with a number of 5,679,964, dates palm trees represent 16,47%, almond trees 11,45%, grape trees 16,30, citrus trees 12,41% and fig trees represent 4,90% of the total fruitful trees. In contrast, the number of the animals increased during the same period, as the number of sheep recorded was 5,642,895 with an increase of 29.3%. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that Libya witnessed the reclamation of tens of thousands of hectares of lands to be used for agricultural projects distributed to people during the 1970s. Since Libya was suffering from a shortage the in water resources, it was necessary to start the implementation of the Great Man-made River Project. The water from the project will contribute substantially to development in the agricultural sector over the coming years.

 

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