Egypt receives half of target quantities of wheat from farmers; stock sufficient till Jan. 2023: Minister

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 May 2022

Egypt has received around three million tons of wheat from local farmers since the start of harvest season in early April, Supply Minister Ali Moselhi told Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly during a meeting on Thursday, which amounts to nearly half the quantities the country targets from local market.

Supply and Internal Trade Minister Ali Moselhi (L) during a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Thursday, 26 May 2022, follows up on the purchase of wheat from local farmers nationwide as well as the country s strategic reserve of other staples (Photo Cabinet)


Moselhi said that currently the country's stock of wheat is sufficient to cover local consumption until January 2023, according to a cabinet statement released following the meeting.

The government seeks to collect six million tons of the strategic crop from farmers through August, up from the 3.5 million tons collected in 2021, as part of a diversification of its wheat supply amid the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

Ever since the disruption in the supply of Black Sea wheat after the Russia-Ukraine war broke out on 24 February, Egypt – the world's largest wheat importer – has scrambled to find viable import alternatives to secure the strategic commodity. Russia and Ukraine alone accounted for 80 percent of the country’s imported wheat supply.

Annually, Egypt spends tens of billions of pounds to secure nearly 20 million tons of local and imported wheat, a key strategic commodity for the production of loaves of bread – a staple of everyday Egyptian diet and cuisine for tens of millions of citizens.

Prime Minister Madbouly said the government closely follows up on the purchase of wheat from local farmers nationwide as well as the country's strategic reserve of other staples, a cabinet statement noted.

Amid the current global crisis, the country has begun working on two avenues to ensure its annual needs for wheat are covered. The first is finding new international sources of wheat, and the second is taking a number of measures to ensure it collects the largest possible amount of wheat from local farmers.

Meantime, the strategic reserves of rice suffice for nearly five and a half months, cooking oil for roughly six months, livestock for around 16 months, frozen meat for six months and frozen poultry for about eight months, the minister added.

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), the country's grain buyer, contracted to purchase 50,000 tons of subsidised rice that are set to arrive in July and August of this year, he pointed out.

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