Supply minister to reconsider bread distribution system

Newly-appointed Supply Minister Mohamed Abu Shady has revealed his intention to reconsider the bread distribution system adopted by his Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated predecessor, Bassen Ouda.

During a meeting with the cereals and bakeries division at the Federation of Egypt's Chambers of Commerce, the minister said that he plans to mend any deficiencies in the system and to tighten the ministry's grip on the distribution process.

Subsidized bread sells for 5 piestras and it is a vital food commodity for the country’s lower- and middle-class citizens.

Egyptian governments have in the past blamed the supply shortage on black market flour sales, accusing bakery owners of profiteering from selling subsidized flour.

Former Minister Ouda had lifted subsidies on key ingredients, thus removing incentives for bakers to trade them on the black market. Private bakeries were asked to sign new contracts in which profiteering was prohibited.

Abu Shady stressed the necessity to plant wheat on a contractual basis in order to ensure that a sufficient supply exists to meet the country’s needs. The meeting also included a discussion about wheat storage problems.
Edited translation from MENA

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