Structural adjustment in Egypt : the case of agriculture
This thesis assesses the appropriateness and effectiveness of the economic reform and structural adjustment programme adopted by Egypt in 1991. It also examines the main political and economic constraints of such policies. It argues that it is unlikely to provide sustainable or equitable growth. It also argues that privatisation programmes in Egypt have a limited effect on improving levels of investment and growth. It stresses the need to encourage new investment to increase the productive capacity of the Egyptian economy in order to generate sustainable growth. The thesis examines in particular, economic reforms in the agricultural sector. It focuses on assessing price reforms so as to enquire how evenly distributed the benefits have been among farmers with different sizes of land holding. Those with big farms are likely to gain more while very small farmers and the landless are likely to lose. Within agriculture the thesis assesses the impact of structural adjustment on Egypt's agribusiness community. This sector is economically fragmented, has limited effectiveness and is politically weak regarding its participation and its influence on economic policy. The thesis argues that the success Df this sector is based on the availability of a strong and effective state to provide the legal and regulatory. infrastructure needed for an effective market economy, to abolish administrative obstacles and to enhance investors' credibility. In short, the thesis maintains that sustaining the economic reform is based on reviving productive investments and enhancing state capacity and democratisation.