Egyptians experience "growth without development," especially in the rural economy. Richard Adams discusses this phenomenon in agriculture and attributes it to the government's determined policy of control of agriculture instead of management of it. While much of this control has diminished since 1987, the policy is maintained over industry, tourism, financial markets, oil production and so on.
Control, for example, over agriculture is a technique used to maintain law and order and to extract a surplus, ostensibly for national development purposes. This is in fact a political technique designed to thwart opposition to the government as it caters to a potentially disruptive urban population, for example, by insuring low-cost food. This technique of subsidizing urban populations — in food, housing, transportation, energy, health care, education, job security — to ensure political stability (even if at the expense of farmers) takes priority over economic development. (As will be demonstrated below, this priority is espoused by many of Egypt's foreign patrons as well.) the result is not so much a satisfied population as a minimally pacified one.
To manage, as opposed to control, is to seek to increase the flow of surplus (e.g., out of agriculture) by qualitatively changing the social and economic character of production. Economic growth has occurred in Egypt's agricultural sector (as well as in industry and the service sector). But "development, in the sense of qualitative changes in the units of economic production, has not taken place. As a consequence, rural poverty and inequality have been slowly increasing."