Egyptians spend time at Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, one of the bustling city's few public parks. Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
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Agriculture Minister Adel el-Beltagy said on Tuesday the government will no longer pay the subsidy of 350 Egyptian pounds per qintar of cotton (160 kg), as much as 40 percent of the domestic market price in the current season.The liberalisation of Egypt's cotton sector in 1994 exposed farmers to volatile global prices and rising fertiliser costs. Cotton acreage has fallen dramatically since the heyday of the 1960s, when Egypt produced cotton from up to 2.2 million feddans (924,000 hectares), helped by fixed state prices. According to the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS, cotton exports in the second quarter of Egypt's current financial year that began in July were 109,600 metric tonnes, down nearly 70 percent from the same quarter in 2013 .
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