A delegation from the Ministry of agriculture with Indian officials inspecting wheat crops during their visit to India. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Cabinet Facebook page.
A delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture travelled to India this week to continue technical studies on importing wheat from the South Asian country, according to a statement by the agriculture ministry.
The delegation examined Indian grain during the visit, which involved touring fields and grain warehouses as well as export warehouses in different Indian provinces including Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Mumbai.
The delegation also discussed cooperation with the Indian Ministry of Agriculture, including the facilitation of Egyptian agricultural projects in India.
Over the last month, the Russian-Ukrainian war has led to a disruption in wheat exports from eastern Europe and remarkable global inflation. Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly 30 percent of the world’s wheat exports.
Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, relies on wheat to produce bread — a key staple for Egyptians — with 80 percent of its wheat imported from Russia and Ukraine.
Egypt imports 12 to 13 million tonnes of wheat per year, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) in 2020 — an online data visualisation platform focused on the geography and dynamics of economic activities across the globe.
Egypt has been working to diversify its purchases, holding talks with France, Argentina, and the United States.
In early March, Egypt imposed an export ban on wheat, fava beans, lentils, pasta, flour, cooking oil, corn, and cracked green wheat for three months.
Earlier in April, the Egyptian government allocated EGP 1.1 billion for the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) and the Agricultural Bank of Egypt to finance local wheat crop procurement from farmers.
On Wednesday, the GASC announced that it had signed contracts to import 350,000 tons of wheat from European countries.