By 2030, the country could lose about one-third of its cropland due to urbanisation, the scientists fear. To exacerbate matters, the Nile Delta region around Cairo is likely to be strongly affected by sea-level rise. And although comparatively small, this area churns out the majority of the country’s agricultural production.

“Policy-makers at the municipal level are now called on to take action. Their time has come, since urban planning is now part and parcel of world policy,” says Felix Creutzig, head of the MCC Working Group on Land Use, Infrastructure and Transport in Berlin. “Urban planners can contribute to preventing small farmers from losing their livelihoods. Spatially efficient urbanisation could help to retain the existing agricultural system while continuing to provide small farmers with access to the urban food market.


More information: Bren d’Amour, Christopher et al. (2016):

Future urban expansion and implications for global croplands.