A new strategy for marketing wheat domestically has been developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation with the participation of the Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC) and agriculture cooperative associations, Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid revealed on Friday.
The strategy stipulates that PBDAC will finance agriculture co-ops to allow them access funding before the wheat supply season. After that, the associations will refund the granted amount after marketing their quantities of wheat.
Agriculture cooperative associations are organisations established by those operating in the agriculture field with the aim of developing the sector through cooperation.
Abu Hadid added that a committee for marketing various agricultural products has been established to design marketing plans and oversee marketing contracts.
“This new system will make it easier for Egyptian farmers to market their crops, and improve their conditions,” Abu Hadid noted.
On 8 February, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Graziano da Silva expressed his institution’s desire to support Egyptian agriculture through assisting in the amendment of the sector’s regulations in line with the new constitution.
Silva detailed that FAO will send its experts to Egypt to conduct training programmes for workers in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and animal production.
During his meeting with Abu Hadid in Algeria, on the sidelines of the tenth meeting between the agriculture ministers of Mediterranean countries, Silva discussed methods of improving PBDAC “to better serve farmers”.
PBDAC’s board of directors was restructured earlier in February by a ministerial decree from Abu Hadid.
Egypt’s strategic stock of wheat is sufficient until 15 June of this year, Minister of Supply Mohamed Abu Shady announced earlier in February in an effort to reassure the market. Abu Shady added that by mid-2015, Egypt’s wheat storage would reach 6 million tones, which he called an “appropriate” amount.
According to Abu Shady, Egypt consumes 15 million tonnes of wheat per year, with a storage capacity of 1.5 million tonnes.
Earlier in November, Egypt purchased 2.3 million tonnes of wheat from different origins, which Abu Shady said will suffice until March 2014.
Egypt witnessed a wheat shortage last September when the government was forced to import 80,000 tonnes of wheat to solve the crisis.
In February 2013, former Minister of Supply Bassem Auda decided to depend on the country’s domestic harvest instead of importing wheat. Some analysts attributed this to the dearth of net foreign reserves at that time.
Former president Mohamed Morsi halted wheat imports during his government, based on “false and misleading” data regarding local rates of production, Abu Shady pointed out in September.