Egypt mulls mixing sweet potato with wheat to produce subsidized bread



Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 03:00 GMT


Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 03:00 GMT

White sweet potato – Wikimedia Commons

White sweet potato – Wikimedia Commons

CAIRO – 27 June 2022: The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade Ali al-Moselhy stated Sunday that the government mulls mixing mashed dried white sweet potato with wheat flour to produce subsidized bread, as that can reduce the country's imports of wheat by half a million tons.


The minister added that one of the ideal solutions at present is raising the percentage of flour extraction from wheat to 87.5 percent up from 82 percent. It is noted that one loaf of subsidized bread costs 80 piasters and sold at five piasters with a maximum of five loaves per beneficiary a day.  


The minister elaborated that the country had considered adding barley to wheat flour but the idea was not practical. That is because of the insufficiency of the local production of the crop, as only 220,000 feddans (one feddan equals 4,500 square meters) are cultivated with barley and their output is 200,000 tons. The minister also pointed out that the harvest is mostly used in the production of beverages.


Moselhy further noted that the idea of using corn flour got discarded either, given it is quite oily and produces bread that does not smell good.  


The minister declared that some 3.920 million tons of local wheat had been received so far recording a rise between 11 percent and 12 percent from last year. He added that wheat delivery would continue till the end of August.


The minister underlined that the current global food crisis pushed the wheat prices from $300-$320 per ton to $480-$490 per ton.



The Egyptian General Authority for Supply Commodities had contracted to purchase 465,000 tons of wheat from Russia, Romania and Bulgaria.


The authority said in a statement earlier in June that these quantities were divided as follows: 115,000 tons of Russian wheat to be shipped in the period from July 20-31, 2022; and 240,000 tons of Romanian wheat to be shipped from August 1-10, 2022.


Head of the Procurement and Storage Sector at the Holding Company for Silos affiliated with the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade Yasser Tawfik had stated that Egypt was awaiting the arrival of five cargo ships carrying wheat imported from four countries.


The vessels are expected to dock at Egyptian seaports in the first week of June coming from Bulgaria (55,000 tons), Russia (63,000 tons), and France (63,000 tons). A Ukrainian ship has departed from Romania, while another Egyptian ship has not yet left Ukraine. 



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