Egypt's local wheat supply season comes to an end; 4.2 million tons collected

Ahram Online , Thursday 1 Sep 2022

Egypt has announced that the wheat supply season from local farmers came to end on Wednesday, with around 4.2 million tons secured over the past five months, according to the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade.

Egypt s local wheat supply season comes to end 4.2 million ton collected. AFP

In a statement on Thursday, Supply Minister Ali Moselhi said the secured supply amounted to half of the wheat planted nationwide.

This year's procurement process represents "a huge leap" in the amount of wheat collected from local farmers, after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi approved increases in wheat procurement prices.

Since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war, Egypt, which was relying on both nations for 80 percent of its imported wheat, has adopted two avenues to ensure its annual needs for wheat are covered. The first is finding new international sources of wheat, and the second is collecting the largest possible amount of wheat from local farmers.

Egypt has set a guide price for wheat procurement at EGP 880 per ardeb (1 ardeb is equivalent to 150kg), including additional incentives, a step that aims to encourage farmers to supply larger wheat quantities to the state.

This year's supply is up from the 3.5 million tons collected in 2021, though it still falls short of the target quantities of 6 million tons announced previously by officials.

The national project for silos allowed for the storage of this large quantity wheat, as it involved increasing the storage capacity from 1.2 million in 2014 to 4 million tons now, Ahmed Kamal, a spokesperson for the ministry said.

Egypt relies heavily on wheat for making bread, a main staple of the Egyptian diet, with citizens consuming almost 100 billion loaves of bread annually, PM Mostafa Madbouly said last month.

The country consumes around 18 million tons of wheat annually, Supply Minister Moselhi said last year.

Earlier this month, Moselhi said Egypt currently has strategic wheat reserves that can cover domestic consumption for 7.2 months.

On Wednesday, Egypt approved raising the guide price of local wheat procurement for the new harvest season by 13.6 percent to EGP 1,000 per ardeb.

In July, PM Madbouly said the government will announce a new programme to encourage farmers to cultivate and supply wheat with better mechanisms ahead of the coming wheat cultivation season, which starts in October.

The new system will further encourage farmers to supply wheat to the government, especially as the majority of farmers prefer to keep wheat for personal use or sell it to the private sector, Madbouly said.

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