Strategic reserves to last 4 to 6 months: minister

The strategic reserves of subsidized goods will cover a period of between four and six months, said Supply Minister Mohamed Meselhy said on Monday.
Speaking at a meeting with parliament's Agriculture and Food Security Committee. he said subsidized sugar reserves will last four months, oil reserves five and a half months, and the wheat reserves five months.
Meat reserves should last until June 30 next year, said the minister, while rice is freely available to traders in the market.
"An internal conspiracy is stronger than an external conspiracy," Meselhy said, calling on MPs to support him.
The Cabinet is not planning to buy wheat from farmers unless it has been well-stored in closed rooms with a concrete floor, ensuring it will be of high quality, he said.
The price of sugar has risen internationally, he said, commenting on the current spike in sugar prices.

The ministry is facing a crisis after traders suspended sugar imports, said the minister. The ministry provided 70,000 tons of subsidized sugar a month.

Due to the crisis, the government was forced to supply 240,000 tons last month, he added.

Rice is the only commodity that currently has no reserves, because farmers refused to supply rice to the ministry in line with agreements.
Agriculture and Food Security Committee Chairman Hesham al-Sheiny said the committee has recommended that the Supply Ministry determine the prices of crops before farmers start harvesting to avoid disagreement later on prices.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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