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Egypt’s agriculture minister reinstates zero ergot policy in wheat – REUTERS
(REUTERS): Egypt will no longer permit wheat shipments with even trace levels of ergot, and will apply the decision retroactively, the agriculture minister said on Sunday.
The decision reverses an earlier decree that had allowed for 0.05 percent, a common international standard, of the fungus in imports and which had put to rest a months-long standoff that saw suppliers boycott state grain tenders and raise prices.
“The ban will be applied to every grain of wheat entering the country. As of now no infected wheat will enter either from upcoming tenders or previous ones,” spokesman Eid Hawash said.
Egyptian quarantine authorities’ refusal to permit wheat shipments infected with even trace amounts of ergot — which can lead to hallucinations in large quantities but is considered harmless at minor levels — created havoc in the market earlier in the year after several shipments were rejected.
Last month’s decree to begin applying the 0.05 standard was welcomed by grains traders, who have participated in larger numbers at GASC’s state tenders since it was issued.
A Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) risk assessment conducted earlier this year concluded that ergot poses no threat to Egyptian crops, but the agriculture ministry said at the time it would reinstate zero tolerance if future studies showed ergot affecting crops.
Arab Contractors Co. conducts 2.8 bln EGP works in New administrative capital
Head of Arab Contractors Company Mohsen Salah told Youm7 that the company has conducted construction works worth 2.8 billion EGP in the new administrative capital.
The finished projects include a water line feeding the capital, 78 buildings in a residential district in addition to facilities that include roads, electricity grids and water and sanitation networks.
Int’l cooperation Min. says directing funds to national projects ‘priority’
Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said that that cooperation with developmental foundations operating in Egypt is in full swing to direct funds and financial assistance towards national projects, Youm7 reported.
Nasr’s statements came during her meeting with a number of these foundations including: the World Bank, African Developmental Bank, UN organizations and economic officials at foreign embassies in Cairo.
EGX continues decline in mid session amid foreign sales
Egypt’s stock market indexes have continued to decline during the mid-session on Sunday due to foreign sales, while Egyptians and Arabs were mostly purchasing.
USD exchange rate ‘stable,’ reaches 8.88 EGP
The USD exchange rate has been stable against the Egyptian Pound, where it reached Sunday 8.88 EGP for sale and 8.85 for purchase.