Egypt expected to procure 4 mln tonnes of home-grown wheat: Supply minister

Hagar El-Shabrawy, Monday 7 Feb 2022

Egypt plans to procure up to four million tonnes of wheat from farmers this season, up from 3.6 million tonnes procured last year, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi said on Monday, attributing the rise to the expansion in wheat cultivation, including in Toshka El-Kheir and Sharq El-Owainat.

File Photo: An Egyptian farmer in a wheat field. AP

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, has increased the area cultivated with wheat from 220,000 feddans in 2021 to 306,000 feddans this year, said Moselhi, also chair of the Supreme Committee for Wheat.

He added that this season's harvest is promising for other reasons, foremost of which are the "befitting" climatic factors and rainfall, in addition to paying a stimulating price for wheat to encourage farmers to cultivate more lands and distribute the yield locally.

In November, Egypt raised the procurement price by EGP 95 to EGP 820 per ardeb to encourage farmers to increase the size of cultivated land.

The decision was taken due to the international rise in wheat prices to their highest records in a decade.

In December, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated a land reclamation project in Toshka meant to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat, an Egyptian staple. 

The Toshka project, south of Aswan, is reportedly the largest of its kind in the Middle East and is meant to increase habitable areas from five percent to 25 percent and increase agricultural lands by 500,000 feddans.

Egypt has reclaimed 85,000 feddans out of 100,000 feddans as part of the first phase of the Toshka project in 2021. The second and last phase has started in January and will complete the project by reclaiming 500,000 feddans.

In 2021, Egypt imported 5.5 million tonnes of wheat.  

Moselhi expected in December that Egypt’s wheat imports in 2022 would drop to 5.3 million tonnes due to the increase in locally procured wheat.

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