Tue, 03 Aug 2021 - 11:30 GMT
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurating Silo Foods located in Menoufeya's Sadat City on August 3, 2021. TV screenshot
CAIRO – 3 August 2021: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated Tuesday in Menoufeya's Sadat City "Silo Foods" offering healthy products at competitive prices.
The company is established by the National Service Products Organization (NSPO) and produces bakeries, pasta, noodles, wafer and biscuits having a wheat storage capacity of 100 tons.
A main mission of Silo Foods is producing meals for schoolchildren as that is included in the first phase. As for the second phase to be launched in April 2022, it will be about dairy products.
President Sisi stated during the inauguration ceremony that the government is working on offering standard meals “presented in a nice way” to schoolchildren. The cost of such meals annually is estimated at LE7.7 billion given that the cost of each meal is LE6-7, the president pointed out.
“The resources to fund such project will be extracted from ministries. For instance, the price of the [subsidized] loaf of bread offered at 5 piasters will have to increase. It’s not reasonable to offer 20 loaves at the price of 1 cigarette… It’s not rational to keep the [subsidized] price as is for 20 years,” President Sisi asserted.
Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawky indicated that eight million Egyptian children suffer from anemia because of eating non-nutritious food. He added that the meals will be customized to meet the health conditions of children as those suffering from anemia or stunting will be offered different ones.
Shedding light on the prevalence rates of anemia, obesity and stunting among children, President Sisi reiterated that people must give care to “the quality not the number” stressing the necessity of family planning.
The president added that the problem of constructions over agricultural land is also due to overpopulation as more people need housing.
In a related context, Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed thanks the National Service Products Organization (NSPO) for providing 21.5 million baby formula cans per annum eliminating the shortage that began four years ago.
The minister noted that 20 percent of Egyptians suffer from obesity, 10 million (out of 100 million) suffer from hypertension, and three million suffer from diabetes.
Zayed underscored that the ministry managed to grant children diagnosed with anemia dietary supplements. As for stunting, she added that needs for growth hormone among Egyptian stunted children are fulfilled by 100 percent.
The minister pointed out that stunting does not just affect the height but also makes the child vulnerable to becoming diabetic. Zayed added that the rate of stunting has not improved while that of obesity has risen among children so as only anemia declined.
Regarding disparities in anemia rates among governorates, the prevalence is higher in Upper Egyptian ones, mainly Asyut and Sohag.
"Silo Foods will be providing nutrition not just food," health minister underscored pointing out that the meals provided to children with anemia will include cheese and sweet tahini (Halawa).
“We also aim for launching outlets like kiosks near schools and children outing venues so they would be buying nutritious snacks like biscuits,” Minister Zayed added.
President Sisi asked Zayed to launch a check-up program for women wanting to get pregnant to determine if they suffer from nutritional deficiency. She answered by stating that a campaign for screening citizens for nutritional deficiency will be launched in October.
The campaign will be implemented through medical caravans, and the first phase consists of one third of rural villages, particularly those located in Upper Egypt.
Following the ceremony, the president toured the factories of Silo Foods and got briefed on the dynamics of work there as well as products.