Agriculture Min. promises to accommodate wheat produce amid storage crisis
A boy carries grain stocks to a threshing machine during a wheat crop harvest in 6 October village in the Nile Delta province of Al-Baheira, northwest of Cairo May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

CAIRO: A total of 900,000 tons of wheat have been received by the Agriculture Ministry since the harvest season, the ministry said in a Friday statement amid farmer complaints that the ministry has rejected entry of tons of the crop.

The ministry is working around the clock to fix problems faced by farmers in the process of dispatching their produce to the ministry’s silos and storehouses, the statement said.

A mechanism has been set to receive the wheat in cooperation with the Central Agricultural Cooperative Union and public cooperative associations and their branches in towns and villages, as well as the Development and Agricultural Credit Bank with all its branches, the statement added.

The statement called on farmers not to sell the wheat to private buyers and to head to the government’s collection centers to benefit from state subsidies, and promised sand silos and other means to store wheat will be opened to accommodate as much wheat as possible.

For every feddan of wheat, an Egyptian farmer will be granted 1,300 EGP in subsidies amid efforts by the government to reduce wheat import. The country is the largest wheat importer with a significant amount of money allocated to the import; Egypt subsidizes bread and other wheat-based commodities.

Many farmers have been forced to leave their wheat on streets vulnerable to theft and decomposition because the Agriculture Ministry’s silos were full, Youm7 reported.

Undersecretary of the ministry in Dakahlia, the Delta, was fired Thursday for his “lack of cooperation” in the crisis.

Egypt has built several silos in the past year in an endeavor to accommodate the crop in the harvest season; 72 silos were recently developed by the Armed Forces, 15 by the Arab Contractors and an agreement has been signed with Italy to establish 10 horizontal silos.

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