Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt has purchased five million tons of domestic wheat, around 25 percent more than the targeted amount, but the figure is still less than last year’s, the state's supply ministry said in a statement Saturday.
Last year, Egypt bought 5.3 million tons from local farmers, the statement read. In 2013 and 2014, the government procured between 2.5 million and 3.5 million tons of domestic wheat.
The government will stop purchasing additional wheat from domestic farmers by next Wednesday, the statement added.
The world's largest wheat importer has banned the trade of imported wheat, without permission from the supply ministry, in the domestic market during this year's harvest season, which lasts from April to July.
Wheat imports for the 2015/16 marketing year are estimated at 11 million tons, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) wrote in October 2015, "about the same as the previous year and the average for the last five years."