The Egyptian ministry of supply said on Sunday that it had bought 57,000 tonnes of local wheat from farmers since the start of the season on April 15.
The north African country which is the world’s largest wheat importer plans to buy 4 million tonnes of Egyptian wheat in the local season which began on Friday.
The country’s wheat harvest begins in April and runs through July. In 2015 the government said it procured a record 5.3 million tonnes of the grain, up from 3.7 million the year before.
However, industry players say that last year’s procurement was the result of falsely labeled foreign wheat and it nearly drained about 2 billion Egyptian pounds from the government budget, a matter that the supplies ministry has denied.
The Egyptian government annually fixes a local procurement price for locally produced wheat that is above global prices in an attempt to encourage farmers in the country to grow the crop.
The farmers get a fixed price of 420 Egyptian pounds which is about $47 per 150 kilograms of wheat.
The government also announced a series of new measures this month to tighten control of wheat circulation during the harvest that include prohibiting the internal trade of wheat during the procurement season.
Since last year, the government has increased its storage capacity for grains with an additional 17 new silos.
Earlier this month, a new state of the art grain storage centre which is expected to reduce post–harvest loss from about 40 percent to 5 percent was unveiled.