An Egyptian farmer harvests wheat on his farm in Qalubiyah, North Cairo, in May 2013 (Photo: AP)
The Egyptian government has bought 4.58 million tonnes of wheat from local farmers since the beginning of harvest in April, the supply ministry announced Friday. The figure is the largest ever annual purchase of domestic wheat by the government, and surpasses an initial target of 3.7 million tonnes.
In a statement the supply minister, Khaled Hanafy, attributed the rise to the announcement of the price prior to planting season, which encouraged more farmers to grow the crop.
Egypt buys wheat from local farmers at a price higher than the international rate, and this year set the price at LE420 ($55) per ardeb (150 Kg).
Egypt, the world's largest importer of wheat, will continue to buy wheat from local farmers until the end of the three-month harvest season in July, the statement said.
The North African country imported 5.46 million tonnes of wheat in the fiscal year 2013/2014, in addition to procuring 3.7 million tonnes of local wheat, according to Reuters data.