New silos to reduce wasted strains: Minister

Cairo: Talks are now being held between the Supply and Trade Ministry, the Arab League affiliated Economic Unity Council and multinational companies to develop silos to be used for wheat storage in order to reduce wasted wheat and the cost of storing wheat by 30 percent for each ton, Minister of Supply and Trade Khaled Hanafi said Friday.

Hanafi’s statement came during a press conference held following the inauguration of the wholesale exhibition titled “Ahlan Ramadan” or “Welcome Ramadan” in Nasr City, in preparation for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

“The Supply and Trade Ministry aims at establishing new areas in all governorates for wheat and grain storage to reduce wasted amounts and cope with price volatility,”  Hanafi added.

Studies concerning economic feasability are being conducted to give the green light for the project, the silos will take four to five months to build and should be made available for the next wheat season.

Hanafi said on June 17 that “the increase in storage capacity is part of a project to make Egypt a wheat trading hub for Arab and European countries importing from Russia and the Black Sea region,” MENA reported.

On June 10, the General Company for Silos and Storage (GCSS) signed a 370 million EGP ($51.7 million) deal with the United Arab Emirates to build two wheat silos in Amiriya and Damietta, in the Nile Delta region north of Cairo, Mubasher reported. GCSS  added that Damietta’s new silo’s capacity will reach 70,000 tons annually, while Amiriya’s will reach 60,000 tons.

‘Egypt is striving to boost self-sufficiency and reduce its 32 billion EGP food import bill’ Hanafi told Al-Masry Al-Youm June 10.

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates had contracted a state-run company to build wheat silos, which is part of the UAE’s $4.9 billion aid package to Cairo, REUTERS reported June 8.

A lot of poor people rely on government subsidized commodities, but a wasteful and corrupt distribution system strains government efforts. Egypt is trying to boost its storage capacity in order to reduce its dependence on imports.

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