Extra foodstuffs to be imported for Ramadan

To offset the usual food shortages experienced during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan–which this year will begin in August–the government has announced a decision to import 70,000 tons of rice to be sold to ration card holders, in addition to extra quantities of meat, poultry and fish.

Foodstuff prices have already risen on the local market by between 10 and 15 percent in advance of the holy month.

Ezzat Aziz, head of the Egyptian Grains Chamber, expects food prices to continue rising.

“Traders hoard goods in warehouses to boost demand, then sell it to consumers at marked-up prices,” he said, urging the relevant government agencies to better regulate the market.

Ahmed el-Rakaybi, president of the state-run Holding Company for Foodstuffs, however, predicted that sugar prices would remain stable. “Sugar prices will remain at LE3.75 per kilo at government cooperatives,” he said.

Khaled Abu Ismail, former president of the Egyptian Union of Chambers of Commerce, for his part, said that poultry prices would jump from LE16 to LE18 per kilo in the short-term. 

Abdel Aziz el-Sayed, head of the Cairo Poultry Department, meanwhile, said the market was currently experiencing a serious poultry shortage.

“Farmers don’t like to raise chickens because of the red tape involved with obtaining licenses,” he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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