EGYPT – The Egyptian government has announced a significant reduction in its wheat import target for the current year, aiming to cut imports by 17 percent to a new target of 5 million tons.

Ali Al-Moselhi, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, revealed this adjustment during an interview with Asharq Bloomberg.

The previous import goal stood at 6 million tons.

This strategic decision is underpinned by an increase in the domestic wheat supply target, which has been raised to 3.7 million tons, up from the prior target of 3.5 million tons.

This ambitious goal is part of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s broader initiative to expand the nation’s agricultural land through a comprehensive land reclamation program.

Announcing the initiative recently, President El-Sisi emphasized that the land reclamation program targets a total of approximately 3.5 million feddans, a substantial expansion equivalent to nearly one-third of Egypt’s existing agricultural land.

The program includes major projects such as the New Delta (2.2 million feddans), Toshka (1.5 million feddans), and Middle Sinai (460,000 feddans), which have remained unimplemented for the past 40 years.

The reduction target comes in the wake of a notable increase in wheat imports in 2023, which saw Egypt bringing in a total of 11 million tons, a significant rise from 9.6 million tons in 2022.

Of the 2023 imports, around 5 million tons were allocated for government use, with the remainder distributed to the private sector.

In a move to strengthen its influence in the global grain market, recently, Bühler Group, a Swiss milling technology provider, inked a Cooperation Agreement with Elsewedy Electric and IBC Group (IBC) to foster the localization of grain silo manufacturing in Egypt. 

Minister Al-Moselhi highlighted that this initiative aims to transform Egypt into a key grain export hub, leveraging strategic collaboration with Russia to supply grains to Egypt and facilitate exports.

Further supporting this initiative, Minister of Trade and Industry, Ahmed Samir, reported to the Russian Information Agency that an Egyptian company has submitted a detailed feasibility study to the Russian government, proposing the construction of the grain center.

Currently, Egypt has accumulated 3.4 million tons of locally produced wheat and is diligently working towards achieving the revised target, as confirmed by Minister Al-Moselhi.

For all the latest grains industry news from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our weekly NEWSLETTERS, follow us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.