Private sector receives 6 tons of reduced-price wheat
Wheat, on a farm, in Qalubiyah, North Cairo, Egypt - AP/Hassan Ammar
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CAIRO: The government has provided the private sector with six tons of wheat at below-market prices to lower the price of bread and pasta for the public, Youm7 reported Monday.

Importing wheat on behalf of the private sector comes in the framework of a protocol signed in November by the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) and the Grain Industry Chamber, head of GASC Mamdouh Abdel Fatah told Youm7.

The protocol stipulates that imported wheat should be of high quality, and other amounts of wheat should contain between 11.5-12.5 percent protein to produce flour, Abdel Fatah said.

Egypt prioritizes its dollars for letters of credit to purchase wheat, a strategic commodity. The world’s largest importer of the grain has endeavored to support local produce to reduce wheat imports and alleviate dollar shortage.

For every feddan of wheat, an Egyptian farmer will be granted 1,300 EGP ($166) in subsidies before the harvest season to encourage cultivation of the crop, Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy previously told Youm7.

Meanwhile, a total of 72 wheat silos have been developed through a United Arab Emirates grant; 82 granaries were attached to the silos to collect yield, reducing wheat wastage and maintain its quality, head of the Principal Bank for Development and Agriculture Credit Ateya Salem told Youm7 Sunday.

As part of a $45-million debt swap program, Italy will establish 10 horizontal wheat silos in Egypt with the capacity of 500,000 tons yearly and investments of $17 million.

Traditional bread is a staple in Egyptians meals; the government has subsidized bread for decades.

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