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Egypt looking for a way out of the feed industry crisis

Egypt meets 80% of its corn and about 95% of soybeans requirements through imports, and in recent years, the rise in feed costs has been extraordinary
11.04.24 | Source: all about feed

Market players suggest the government should consider tightening control over grain imports and encourage land reclamation and processing of agricultural waste into feedstuff to deal with surging feed costs.

Egypt is experiencing a shortage of broiler meat as some companies were driven out of business since the onset of the feed industry crisis in the country in 2022, Abdel Aziz Al-Sayed, head of the poultry division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, has recently told local news outlet Maspero.

According to Al-Sayed, Egypt meets 80% of its corn and about 95% of soybeans requirements through imports, and in recent years, the rise in feed costs has been extraordinary.

Ending turbulence

Among the measures called to streamline feedstuff supply, Al-Sayed suggested that 100% of grain imports should go through the Supply Commodities Authority, a government agency, instead of independent companies.

During the past few years, feedstuff imports in to Egypt have been turbulent. For example, several incidents when wheat stocks were blocked in Egyptian ports amid a shortage of US dollars to pay suppliers have wreaked havoc on the Egyptian feed industry.

The move will let the government “to try to control the rhythm of the market” ensuring consistent supply of necessary raw materials, Al-Sayed said.

Internal resources

Saeed Zaghloul, head of the livestock division in Giza Governorate, in turn, said that a fundamental switch in state policy is needed, and farmers must be encouraged to scale up operations so that the country can gradually move away from the import needle.

Al-Sayed estimated that the country generates between 80 and 100 million tonnes of agricultural waste per year, and these quantities could also be used to mitigate the feedstuff shortage. He claimed is that properly processed and treated waste could lower operational costs in the poultry industry, which would eventually benefit everyone “from the state to ordinary citizens.”

Dr Salah Abdel Sattar Haggag, a member of the Fish Wealth Committee, also suggested that the country double down on its efforts to reclaim deserted agricultural land to expand domestic grain production.

Hussein Abu Saddam, head of the Farmers Syndicate, agreed that the authorities must increasingly look into the agricultural waste segment to fill the gap in the feed industry. He revealed that some farmers are already trying to use rice, corn and tomato waste to feed agricultural animals, with varying success.

Saddam also spoke in favour of land reclamation, warning, though, that achieving some tangible progress in this field could be tricky in the context of worsening water scarcity.