Sisi directs maintaining basic commodity reserves, monitoring market prices

Ahram Online , Sunday 30 Oct 2022

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has directed maintaining the strategic reserves of basic commodities and monitoring their market prices to ensure the stability of the country’s food security status.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi meets with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Supply Ali Moselhi. Egyptian Presidency


The president’s directives to the government aim to ensure meeting citizens’ needs for basic commodities in the required quantities, maintain appropriate prices, and ensure they are available at government outlets nationwide, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady noted in a statement on Sunday.

El-Sisi made the remarks in a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi to follow up on the availability of strategic commodities across the country, Rady said.

During the meeting, Moselhi affirmed the availability of strategic reserves of wheat until April next year, which marks the beginning of the new wheat harvest season, the statement said.

However, the state is required to import 1 million tonnes of wheat over the coming period to ensure the availability of wheat reserves beyond April, Moselhi said on the sidelines of a press conference today.

Reserves of sugar and oil are sufficient until next February and the beginning of May respectively, Moselhi said in his meeting with El-Sisi.

The country also has reserves of meat and poultry for the coming 12 and five months respectively, he added.

The supply minister also stressed that Egypt has self-sufficiency in rice, noting that so the state has so far received 197,000 tons of rice from local farmers during the current rice supply season, which started late in August and extends until 15 December.

During the presser, Moselhi underscored the ban on rice exports that the government extended earlier this month under any circumstances to ensure availability of rice for citizens all year round.

He warned that rice stored in nonaccredited warehouses or transported without approval from the ministry’s directorates will be confiscated.

The minister also warned that manipulation of rice is punishable by a fine ranging from EGP 10,000 to EGP 2 million.

Egypt, which has achieved self-sufficiency in rice in recent years, produces around 5 million tonnes of rice annually, Moselhi said earlier this month.

The state has repeatedly stressed its aim to secure strategic stockpiles of commodities for at least six months, especially amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which caused food and energy prices worldwide to soar.

Egypt, which used to depend on Russia and Ukraine for 80 percent of its imported wheat, has worked on diversifying its wheat import sources to meet its citizens’ needs.

The government’s Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) said on Sunday it will intensify its monitoring campaigns on markets nationwide to prevent any price gouging and prevent sellers from using the current crisis to raise the prices of commodities unjustifiably.

In a statement, the CPA said it seized large quantities of rice, sugar, and flour from unidentified sources and without bills.

The CPA urged citizens to immediately report any violations that harm consumers through the agency’s hotline 19588.

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