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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Hanafy attacked by wheat committee, Supply, Agriculture beef over ergot

The House of Representatives committee investigating wheat fraud apparently attacked Supply Minister Khalid Hanafy for what it characterized as his failure to grasp just how pervasive corruption was in the wheat collection and subsidy system, AMAY reports. The attacks came during Hanafy’s hearing with the committee on Sunday. There were no reports on whether Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil or Agriculture Minister Essam Fayed appeared before the committee yesterday as scheduled to discuss their roles in this year’s harvest. The committee questioned the head of the Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit, which played a crucial role in buying the harvested wheat from farmers.

Another beef brewing between Agriculture and Supply over ergot? Hanafy and other supply ministry officials have publically refuted claims by Agriculture Minister Essam Fayed that Egypt’s ergot restriction policies have successfully prevented even “a single contaminated grain from entering the country,” Al Mal reports. A supply ministry official had said that May’s shipment of wheat from France contained the 0.05% of ergot. Fayed had publicly announced on Saturday that no contaminated wheat entered Egypt before or since the acceptance of the 0.05% ergot threshold back in June. This continues the string of antagonistic and conflicting statements coming out of both ministries, the most recent being the Agriculture Ministry accusing Supply of mixing foreign and domestic wheat during the domestic wheat collection.

This comes as the General Authority for Supply Commodities has launched a tender on Monday to purchase an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers with a delivery date of  11-20 September, Al Mal reported on Monday. Winners will be announced today.

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