Agriculture Minister، Ezz Al-Din Abu Steet stressed that rice prices will decrease with the start of the harvest season next September، to reach LE 6 per Kilo.
In a press conference held today، Wednesday، The minister added that all the traders who stockpiled rice to manipulate citizens will regret and be held accountable.
On June 5، the government announced its plan to import rice (paddy، mulled and cargo rice)، in a way to reduce the rice-cultivated areas due to the water shortage crisis the country is suffering from.
President Sisi ratified on May 21، the newly-passed amendments to the Agriculture Law No. 53 of 1966، per which the government will determine the areas to cultivate certain water-intensive crops such as rice and sugarcane، amid the water shortage crisis in order to rationalize water usage.
Also، Article 101 of the law stipulates that those who violate the ministerial decrees issued to implement Articles 1، 2، 3، and 4 of the Agriculture Law shall be punished with a fine not less than LE 20،000 (about $1،119) and not more than LE 50،000.
On May 2، the Egyptian government agreed to increase the area allocated for rice cultivation by 100،000 feddans (one feddan equals 1.038 acres) for this season only، bringing the total area allocated for rice cultivation to 820،000 feddans، Abdel Latif Khaled، head of irrigation sector in the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources stated.
Thus، it is expected that Egypt will produce about 3.3 million tons this year as one feddan produces 4 tons، while Egypt's annual consumption of rice is estimated at 4.3 million tons.