The wheat crop crisis… a non-stimulating indicative price and corruption of one billion pounds in the supply

In its meeting on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 AD, the government of dictator Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi decided to set a thousand pounds as an indicative price for a lard of wheat to motivate farmers to plant the strategic crop next year; It is a price that slightly exceeds the price of supplying Ardib this year, which is estimated at about 885 pounds.

The price set by the coup government this year for Ardeb means that the price of a ton of wheat is 6,666 pounds, up from 5,800 pounds per ton last year. As for the global market, the price of a ton of wheat today (the beginning of September 2022) is about 330 euros, equivalent to about 6350 pounds per ton (according to the average exchange rate of the euro at 19.23 pounds, in the local market, according to CBE data last Wednesday). However, on the other hand, estimates indicate that the price of the local currency will decrease against the euro to reach 19.72 pounds next year, which means that the price of a ton in the local currency will reach 6510 pounds, if the price of a ton of wheat does not rise globally. This means that the difference between the global price and the local price will decrease at least to about EGP 100 per ton, which a farmer in Dakahlia Governorate, Mohamed El Gohary, considered insufficient to motivate farmers, according to Mada Masr.

The statement of the cabinet of the coup government described the price as encouraging for the cultivation and supply of wheat, but the farmers believe otherwise and confirm that it is lower than they expected; This is because the government raised the supply price by 13%, while inflation actually reached about 14.6%, and it may rise in the coming months by much higher, which means that the price set by the government did not take into account the high inflation rates on the one hand and the high production costs on the other hand. .

As for El-Gohary, he said that the temptation of farmers to grow wheat comes with an offer of a price commensurate with the expenses of cultivation. “If the government did not raise the price today, before tomorrow, to 1200 or 1300 pounds per ardeb, you will not find next year a wheat crop so that you can think about raising the price of its supply.” Al-Jawhari pointed out that the return of wheat cultivation is much lower than the return of other crops grown in the same season, such as flax or beets, which also require less labor and lighter agricultural expenses, which increases their attractiveness to farmers, and keeps farmers away from surprising government decisions obligating farmers to supply Part of the crops to them.

manipulation of supply numbers

Official data on the supply of wheat showed that the official figures for the quantities of wheat collected by the government from farmers differed from the figures stated in the statements of officials of the Ministry of Supply, headed by the Minister, Ali Al-Moselhi. And the Chamber of Grain Industry announced, last August 16, that the government collected more than four million tons of local wheat this season, confirming Moselhi’s statements, who had previously indicated, last July, that the crop supplied to the ministry exceeded four million tons. However, an official statement issued by the National Food Safety Authority showed that the quantities collected by the ministry since the beginning of the season, last April, and until August 17, 2022, did not exceed 3.8 million tons.

At the beginning of the year, the “Provisioning” aspired to collect six million tons of local wheat, in order to dispense with part of the imported wheat, whose prices rose steadily in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. To this end, the ministry extended the harvest season until the end of August, instead of ending it in July, like every year.

The ministry’s path to collecting local wheat was full of obstacles, as a large number of farmers refrained from supplying the crop, despite the government’s obligation to them to deliver, and it threatened to impose penalties up to imprisonment for those who abstained from supplying. However, the difference between the two prices of international wheat and the price offered by the government to buy the local crop from farmers created a loophole through which the private sector was able to buy local wheat, despite the fact that they were legally prevented from doing so.

During the harvest months, the rate of local supply decreased, so the “supply” reduced its target to only five and a half million tons. Despite this, the quantities of local wheat obtained by the ministry until mid-June last year amounted to 3.7 million tons. It increased by less than 100,000 tons over the following month.

A billion pounds of corruption!

The conflict of information did not stop at the quantities of wheat supplied only, but also reached the amounts that the government paid to farmers in exchange for wheat, which Al-Moselhi stated more than once that it amounted to 23 billion pounds, compared to four million tons of wheat returned by the farmers, which means that the price of a ton amounted to five thousand and 750 pounds, which is 50 pounds less than the average set by the government. If the government collected less than 3.8 million tons, and paid for four million tons, this means that it spent nearly one billion pounds in exchange for quantities of wheat that were not supplied.

Moselhi’s inaccurate statements extended – according to Mada Masr – to the new agricultural areas, which he confirmed will provide 2 million tons of wheat during the next year, only from the Toshka and Mostakbal Egypt projects. According to a previous statement by the scientific advisor to the Future Egypt project, the wheat crop areas As for the Toshka project, according to the statements of the advisor to the Minister of Agriculture, Naim Moselhi, the government planted 30,000 acres of wheat in it, and finished preparing 100,000 acres for agriculture in general, while it is working on preparing another 100,000 acres by the end of the year This means that the total area reclaimed or about to be reclaimed in the two projects will be only 270,000 feddans, assuming that the entire reclaimed area will be devoted to wheat cultivation only, and with an average productivity of 3 tons of wheat per acre, the total quantities of wheat produced from the two projects will not exceed 810 thousand. tons, which is less than half of the target announced by Moselhi.

Source: بوابة الحرية والعدالة by

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