Egypt raises local wheat procurement price for 2023 season by 13.6%

Amr Kandil , Wednesday 31 Aug 2022

Egypt approved on Wednesday raising the guide price of local wheat procurement for the new harvest season by 13.6 percent to EGP 1,000 per ardeb (1 ardeb is equivalent to 150kg).

Egyptian farmer harvests wheat on his farm in Qalubiyah, north Cairo. AP


This step reflects the state's keenness to support farmers and encourage them to cultivate and supply wheat to the state, the Cabinet said in a statement.

In the current local supply season, which has extended from April to August, the local wheat procurement price has totalled EGP 880 per ardeb on average, including additional incentives.

Last month, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the government would announce a new programme to encourage farmers to cultivate and supply wheat with better mechanisms ahead of the coming wheat cultivation season, which starts in October.

The new system will encourage young farmers to supply wheat to the government, especially as the majority of farmers prefer to keep wheat for personal use or sell it to the private sector, the premier said in a press conference in mid-July.

Egypt has set the new guide price for wheat per ardeb amid a global food crisis caused by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has raised prices of grains and energy and spurred food price inflation.

Egypt, which used to rely on Russia and Ukraine for 80 percent of its imported wheat, has been working on diversifying its wheat import sources and encouraging local farmers to sell their wheat to the state since the Ukraine crisis started in February.

Ahead of the current wheat season, the government raised the price of wheat supplied by citizens to EGP 810 instead of EGP 710 per ardeb and granted farmers an additional incentive of EGP 65 for each ardeb of wheat.

Egypt also brough forward the 2022 wheat harvest season to start on 1 April instead of 15 April.

So far, Egypt has purchased 4.2 million tonnes of local wheat from farmers, representing around 70 percent of the 6 million tonnes of local wheat targeted by the supply and agriculture ministries, according to Supply Minister Ali Moselhi.

In March, Moselhi issued a decree obliging wheat farmers to sell a minimum of 12 wheat ardebs per each feddan, warning that violators would be deprived from subsidised fertilisers and the support provided by the Agricultural Bank of Egypt.

The decree also bans transferring wheat from one place to another and punishes such violations by confiscating the transferred wheat and the equipment used in the process.

In recent months, authorities announced they had confiscated dozens of tonnes of wheat as it was being illegally transferred across governorates.

Egypt relies heavily on wheat for making bread, a main staple of the Egyptian diet, with citizens consuming almost 100 billion loaves of bread annually, Madbouly said last month.

The country consumes around 18 million tonnes of wheat annually, Minister Moselhi said last year.

Earlier this month, Moselhi said Egypt currently has strategic wheat reserves that can cover domestic consumption for 7.2 months.

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