Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy (Photo: courtesy of Ministry of Supply)
Egypt and Italy have approved a project to swap $45 million of debt to establish silos and logistic locations to store grains, fruits and vegetables.
The agreement follows a meeting between Egyptian Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy, and the Italian ambassador to Egypt, Maurizio Massari, as reported by Al-Ahram Arabic news website.
The project aims at reducing the cost of transportation and waste in fruits and vegetables to ultimately provide them at lower prices to consumers.
Egypt's current silo storage capacity is 1.5 million tonnes but the United Arab Emirates pledged part of its LE34 billion ($4.9 billion) aid package to Egypt to build 25 new wheat silos, each with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes. This would bring the country's storage capacity to three million tonnes by mid-2014.
Earlier this month the government extended the period in which it purchases domestic wheat from its local harvest by ten days to 30 June and expects to buy four million tonnes in total, an agriculture ministry source told state news agency MENA.
The supply ministry said last week that Egypt had bought 3.7 million tonnes of domestic wheat this year.