Official sources from the Agriculture Ministry said business circles have pressured Trade Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour to reject the ministry proposal, reviewed by the Cabinet, imposing fees on the maize imported for poultry industry.
Estimated at LE500 per ton, the fees yield annual profits of LE525 million, supporting yellow corn prices by LE50 per ardeb, received by companies producing poultry, the sources added.
An official report by the ministry showed that companies producing poultry are trying to disavow their agreement with the ministry to step back from their contracts with farmers and cooperative societies that cultivate maize to reduce the price to LE300, which would cause losses to the farmers instead of generating profits. The report added that companies importing maize prefer to source abroad rather than make use of the local production, which was explained as trying to reduce the government’s ability to protect farmers.
If the issue of maize is resolved, according to the report, it will expose Egypt to problems related to water security, as demand for water would increase making the deficit jump up to over 23 billion square meters annually.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm