A farmer harvests wheat on a field in the El-Menoufia governorate, about 9.94 km (58 miles) north of Cairo April 23, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt signed contracts for 240,000 tonnes of French wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat, at an average price of $273.94 per tonne to be delivered in January, the minister of supply and internal trade, Khaled Hanafi, said in a press release on Sunday.
The world's largest wheat importer, Egypt, imported 5.46 million tonnes of wheat to supplement the 3.7 million tonnes of locally procured wheat in the last fiscal year, which ended on 30 June.
Earlier this year, authorities launched a new subsidised bread programme which aims to reduce smuggling and cut down on wheat spending by selling flour to bakers at a non-subsidised price and encouraging beneficiaries to exchange their bread ration for other subsidised foodstuffs through a smart-card system.
Earlier this month the government signed an agreement with Blumberg Grain to replace 93 local wheat barns with advanced food security technology and systems at a cost of $28 million (LE200 million) by April.
In April through to July, during the wheat harvest season, the government buys wheat from local farmers estimated to reach 3.5 million tonnes in fiscal year 2014-15 at LE420 (about $60) per l'erdeb (150 kg), to be stored in the new advanced barns system.