Egyptians shocked by price hikes of "food joker"

Basem Abo Alabass, Wednesday 15 Dec 2010

Foul, the most essential Egyptian dish, experienced a price increase due to cut in local production

Egyptian beans meal, a standard breakfast in the street, becomes dearer.

Bean prices have soared this week, increasing from LE450 per tonne to LE7,500 ($1,293) and causing price shocks for both producers and consumers.

The market price for a kilo of what is considered by most Egyptians as" the joker of meals" has accordingly increased to LE7.5, causing rage among consumers who greatly depend on foul and falafel for their three daily meals.

“It is a shame,” said al-Basha Edrees, chairman of agriculture crops department in the chamber of commerce.

According to Edrees, the sudden increase in bean prices is due to the fact that local harvest was cut by half this year.

Egypt produces about 280 thousand tonnes of beans, satisfying only 60 per cent of its domestic market. To meet the rest of the market's demand, the country imports beans primarily from England, France and china, according to Egypt's Field Crops Research Institute.

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