Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly (centre) chairing the weekly cabinet meeting in Cairo on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Cabinet)
In January, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly revealed the first incentive for the 2023 harvest season, raising the 2022 local wheat procurement price from EGP 880 to EGP 1,000 and later adding an additional EGP 250 per ardeb as an incentive.
The country aims to purchase 4 million tons of local wheat from farmers during the upcoming harvest season, down from 4.2 million tons last season, which came short of the announced target of 6 million tons by government officials in early 2022.
Egypt, which consumes up to 18 million tons of wheat and imports around 12 million tons annually, has been encouraging farmers to supply more wheat to the government in light of disruptions in global food supply chains and rising commodity prices.
In 2020, Egypt imported 12.885 million tons of wheat at a cost of approximately USD 3.2 billion, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS). In January 2023, the value of Egypt's imports of wheat and corn amounted to USD 546.378 million, as reported by CAPMAS.
Wednesday's decision, following directives from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, aims to support Egyptian farmers, encourage the expansion of strategic crop cultivation, and reduce the import bill, said Nader Saad, the official spokesperson for the Egyptian Cabinet.
Egypt, which imports 65 percent of its basic food needs, is preparing 3.5 million feddans for agricultural projects to strengthen food security and reduce the import gap of strategic commodities. These projects include the New Delta (2.2 million feddans), Toshka (1.5 million feddans), and Middle Sinai (460,000 feddans).