Egypt's government has purchased three million tonnes of domestic wheat, three quarters of the targeted amount of four million tonnes, since the harvest season’s beginning in mid-April, the agriculture ministry said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.
The ministry said farmers are continuing to harvest the wheat, the farmland for which amounts to 3.4 million feddans nationwide.
Last year, the government purchased a record 5.3 million tonnes of domestic wheat, up from 3.7 million tonnes purchased a year prior, at the subsidised price of EGP 420 per tonne.
The government said previously that it would procure local supplies this year at the subsidised price of around EGP 420 per ardeb (150 kg), depending on quality, reversing its decision to replace the crop subsidy with a land subsidy of EGP 1,300 per feddan (roughly one acre) of wheat grown.
The world's largest wheat importer has banned the trading of imported wheat in the domestic market without permission from the supply ministry during this year's harvest season; from April to July.
Wheat imports for the 2015/16 marketing year are estimated at 11 million tonnes, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) wrote in October 2015, "about the same as the previous year and the average for the last five years."
*1 Feddan roughly equals one acre