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(4 Nov 2016) LEAD IN: The construction of the Renaissance Dan in Ethiopia has already strained diplomatic relations between Egypt and Ethiopia. And it could have a major impact on crop production, particularly on the sugar cane crop on which Egypt heavily relies. STORY-LINE: Workers toil in the heat to reap Egypt's highly valued cane sugar crop. The climate here is ideal for cane sugar cultivation, being hot enough for the crop to thrive and close enough to the Nile river delta to stay well irrigated. Cane sugar is one of the most important agricultural crops in Egypt. Sugar consumption rates are high in Egypt. Around three million tonnes of sugar is consumed annually. Around one million tonnes of that is from cane sugar, and amounts to 50 tonnes per acre. The other one million tonnes is produced from beet cane and the other million tonnes imported. The Renaissance Dam is causing concern about how the industry will continue to thrive, relying heavily as it does on water. It is believed the dam will restrict water flow to Egypt. "In terms of water and the construction of the Renaissance Dam, this will significantly affect sugarcane in Egypt, because the crop needs water every 10 days. Sugar cane farming consumes from 12 to 14 thousand cubic metres of water throughout the year," says Luxor sugar cane farmer from Zain Al-Abdeen. The Egyptian government has reacted by replacing some agricultural crops and limiting the cultivation of others, such as rice and cane sugar. They want to increase beet cultivation, which is easier to grow in a varied climate. It is hoped that beet cultivation will hit nearly 1.25 million tons, outstripping cane sugar production. The government wants to expand the area in which sugar cane and beet are grown. "There is a big hope that conservation efforts will be made in the agricultural sector, and that after the construction of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia we can improve water conservation and continue to grow important crops like rice and sugar cane," says environmentalist Dr. Mohamed Abdel Aal. Earlier this year Egyptian banks placed limits on withdrawals and deposits in foreign currency, and increased import tariffs in an attempt to boost domestic production and ease the currency crisis. This led to an increase in the price of domestically produced sugar. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/be0bcf91078b428be2832c0e2a44e232 Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork