Despite an increase in the land planted with wheat this year، the crop delivered by farmers to the government has been less than last season.
According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and land reclamation، the area planted with wheat in 2018 is estimated at 3.26 million feddans compared to 2.9 million last year.
Last year، farmers delivered 3.4 million tons of wheat to the state-operated silos used for storing wheat meant to produce subsidised bread. Due to the increase in wheat cultivation، the government expected to receive more wheat this season.
In April when the harvest season started، Minister of Supplies and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi announced that the government was looking to receive over four million tons of locally produced wheat this year.
However، the harvest season، lasting until the middle of July، has yielded just 3.15 million tons of wheat.
One of the reasons for the reduction could be the sudden changes in climate during the growing season. The weather was unexpectedly hot and then turned cooler accompanied by wind and rain.
Ibrahim Abdel-Moteleb، former director of the Agriculture Research Institute، told Al-Ahram Weekly that the sudden changes in temperature had impacted the harvest negatively. However، certain measures could have been taken by farmers that could have eased the negative effect on the harvest، he said.
Abdel-Moteleb also said that the price of wheat decided by the government could mean even smaller crops in the future. He said that this price was unfair to farmers and did not cover their production costs.
Egypt parliamentary committee recommends vote of confidence in new government
First deputy speaker of Egypt's parliament Al-Sayed Al-Sherif، head of an ad hoc committee in charge of preparing a report on the policy statement delivered by newly appointed Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli before parliament on 3 July، recommended Wednesday that the government receive a vote of confidence next week.
Al-Sherif said the committee has finalised its report on the government's policy statement، and that it will be submitted to parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal Thursday. "This is the final step before it is discussed in parliament's plenary sessions next Sunday،" said Al-Sherif، adding that، "The discussion will be followed by MPs deciding whether they give a vote of confidence in Madbouli's government."
Salah Abu Himila، a member of the committee and representative of the People's Republican Party، told reporters that 27 MPs – out of a total 31 – recommended that the government receive a vote of confidence next week. "But the committee's recommendation did not go down well with four MPs - Diaaeddin Dawoud (an independent MP with leftist leanings)، Ihab Mansour (representative of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party)، Mohamed Badrawi (representative of the National Movement Party)، and Al-Sayed Abdel-Aal (MP and leader of the leftist Tagammu Party).
El-Sherif said the majority of members of the ad hoc committee said the government's policy statement included five programmes that could lead to tangible improvement in economic and living conditions in Egypt. "We asked that the government presents parliament with a quarterly periodical progress report on its implementation of the five programmes،" said Al-Sherif.
Increase in Egypt’s cigarettes prices takes place Thursday
Egypt’s major cigarettes company، Eastern SAE، announced Wednesday that the price of cigarettes and tobacco products in Egypt is set to witness an increase of LE 1.5، the increase comes into effect on Thursday، according to Eastern SAE’s official statement.
The Chairman of Eastern SAE، Mohammed Haroun، said in a phone call with the Egyptian Satellite show، “Happens in Egypt”، that the current increase has been ratified by the Parliament six months ago.
The Price of cigarettes and tobacco products in Egypt went through an increase of LE 3.5 in November، as a result of the amendments value-added tax (VAT) law. The increase will include domestic and imported cigarettes.