Read the following passage and answer questions

The land in Egypt is very fertile when it ts irrigated, and water for irrigation has to come mainly from the one big river which Egypt has, namely, the Nile. Therefore, most of the farming is done near this river. As the Nile nears the sea, it splits into several branches to form a delta. The land here is very flat; ploughing and irrigation are easy andit is, therefore, the most highly cultivated arca. Further inland, away from the sea, only the strips of land on either side of the river are cultivated, There are, of course, a few irrigation projects and model farms, but a large proportion of the Egyptian country side remains a dry, sandy desert. In the delta, the main crops are cotton, rice, fruit such as banana, dates, figs and melons, and vegetables. Cattle, buffalo, and goats are also kept for milk and meat. Further inland, however, where the land is not so flat, and water is scarce, the cultivation is less intense; in this part of the country, there is a scarcity of fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, because there is not enough water to grow it. Sugarcane and wheat are the main crops here. In the huge, barren deserts, there are wandering herdsmen who keep goats and camels. Thusit is clear that vast areas of land are lying unused at present only because ofthe lack of irrigation. The country can double its production if the irrigation projects multiply.

Question 186

What is the meaning of ‘irrigation’ ?

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