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Egypt to end use of open air wheat silos by next year's procurement season

Reuters , Wednesday 19 Oct 2016
File photo: Hassan, a 65 year-old farmer harvests wheat on field in Fayoum, Egypt. (AP)
File photo: Hassan, a 65 year-old farmer harvests wheat on field in Fayoum, Egypt. (AP)
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Egypt will seek to end procurement of wheat to open air silos by next year's buying season, Supply Minister Mohamed Ali El-Sheikh said on Wednesday.

A committee composed of officials from the supply, agriculture and finance ministries had been established to determine the proper price for local wheat to be procured next year, he said at a news conference.

The moves come as Egypt seeks to clamp down on rampant corruption in its strategic wheat supply chain that has wasted billions of pounds worth of public funds.

On the other hand, Swiss-based inspection firm SGS has not had discussions with Egypt about checking wheat import cargoes, contrary to what was announced last month by the Egyptian authorities, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

Egypt's agriculture ministry said in late September that Egypt had hired SGS to inspect wheat cargoes, replacing government experts as part of an overhaul of import terms in the world's biggest wheat buyer.

"The news in September was a surprise for us given that we had neither discussed nor agreed anything with the Egyptian authorities," the spokesman said in an emailed response to Reuters.

"I think it is a case of miscommunication."

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