Egypt's grand wheat plan splits the industry

Farmers who don’t deliver wheat quota threatened with jail as price spike jeopardises Egypt's 270 million daily loaves

In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine warEgypt's decision to force local wheat producers to sell a slice of their output to the government has split the industry, with some farmers set to gain and others facing job losses.

On Wednesday, authorities introduced measures they hope will incentivise Egyptian growers to sell more wheat: raising prices, setting quotas, and threatening farmers with prison if they do not deliver. Politicians say these unprecedented measures are necessary if Egypt wants to keep bread on the table.

"This decision is very important for securing food for these people," said Hesham al-Husari, the head of the Committee on Agriculture and Irrigation at the House of Representatives, Egypt’s lower chamber of parliament. "We cannot bring together the required strategic reserves of wheat without such a decision."

"Governments, I believe, have the right to take exceptional measures to protect their national security and the livelihoods of their peoples,” he added.

© Middle East Eye 2022


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