Ration cards for rice in Egypt sufficient for 6.6 months, yet shortage persists in general market

The Egyptian Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Aly al-Moselhy, announced Monday that the strategic stock of rice for ration cards in Egypt is sufficient for 6.6 months, oil for 5.7 months, and pasta for 7.6 months.

Moselhy added that the strategic stock of ration wheat is enough for five months and the ration sugar is enough for 3.8 months, while the new sugar season will start on 15 January.

The reserve of live meat is enough for 12 months, and frozen poultry is enough for 4.7 months, he said, adding that the ministry pumps approximately 31 commodities per month to citizens via the ration cards – benefiting up to 64 million citizens.

The official spokesperson for the ministry Ahmed Kamal said that the ministry pumps abundant quantities of food and basic commodities daily, including oil, sugar, rice and pasta, as well as large amounts of other food commodities in all branches and supply outlets.

And journalist Lamis al-Hadidi of the “Last Word” (Kalema Akhera) television show demanded a solution to the shortage of free rice in the market outside of ration cards.

She pointed out that there is a missing link somewhere in the middle, and suggested that meetings be held between the Ministry of Supply, the Rice Division, farmers and companies to discuss the real cause of the crisis.

Hadidi stressed that the penalties decided by the supply chain against those who do not supply rice as a strategic commodity may not be sufficient on their own, and require more discussion into the dilemma.

“There is no rice in the market. The government must sit with farmers, the rice division and companies, and reach a solution,” she said.

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