The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade in Egypt continues to receive barley rice from farmers in the country after the Government announced the provisions during the crop supply season that began on August 15 and should continue until mid-December. The Egyptian Government’s decree to make barley rice available during the ongoing season for the public on ration cards as per which the farmers should deliver the barley rice up until the end of December. This decree was published in the official gazette ‘Al Waqa’e Al Masryiah’ on 28thAugust’22 to be enacted on the following day.
Mr. Dayra, Director of Supply and Internal Trade Directorate in Dakahlia Governorate mentioned that the volume at which rice is supplied has increased to 15,000 tonnes since the start of the supply season till the current period, and the area that has been cultivated is at 318 thousand acres in the Governorate with 75% of the total cultivated area which has already been harvested successfully. He further explained that the state has increased the price for procuring fine-grain rice to be received at a price of LE6,600 per ton, and LE6,850 for wide-grained rice, in addition to the incentive to provide 100 pounds per ton to encourage farmers to supply the crop for the government.
More than 150 places were allocated to receive the rice imported from the local farmers as each farmer should be providing one tonne for each feddan (25% of the feddan productivity). The governorate has 31 sites to receive rice out of a total of 150 at the level of the Republic, with further analysis that the sites include Damietta and Belqas mills, the Shun of the Agricultural Bank, and mills and silos. The Minister of Supply said that farmers would receive the financial dues within 48 hours.
Conditions To Defaults
However, the farmer who would abstain from exporting rice to the Ministry would be penalized by not getting permission to plant rice in the following year, in addition to subsidized fertilizers and agricultural pesticides not being disbursed for a period of one year for all types of crops. Furthermore, as per the decree, the price of undelivered barley rice would be LE10,000 per tonne. The Directorate of
Supply does not intend to impose sanctions directly on farmers who refrain from supplying but rather sends warnings to them through agricultural associations and places of worship to raise their awareness of the importance of supplying the rice crop because of its impact on providing the needs of citizens on ration cards.
Reasons for hiked prices
The Ministry is targeting 1.5 million tonnes of barley rice to meet the people’s needs. Head of the Rice Division at the Federation of Industries, Rajab Shehata said that rice prices would be affordable for the citizens at the beginning of September and also noted that 1Kg of rice would cost LE12 in comparison to the current price which is LE19.
Sada El Balad reported that the reasons for the high prices include the high cost of fertilizers, high shipping and transportation costs, and global inflation due to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflicts. Shortage in Rice Supply is one of the other reasons, Magdy, a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Grain Industry in the Egyptian Federation of Industries, told Masrawy.
Egypt had a challenge to increase the cultivated areas of rice, amid water stress but scientific research and studies developed new seeds and varieties that could adapt to climate change and water scarcity, said Muhammad Al-Qarsh, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture. He added in comments to Masaa DMC’s program with the media on Sunday that the Egyptian state attached great importance to agriculture, explaining that this appears in increasing the production area in Egypt and maximizing the productivity of the land and water unit. Water that was allocated for irrigating which is for rice enabled farmers to plant 724,000 feddans as well as planting 350,000 feddans with salt-tolerant varieties and the length of irrigation periods, totaling the whole cultivated area of 1.1 million feddans, which enables the state to meet the needs of the citizens.