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Egypt PM, Madbouly announces wheat backup as Ukraine/Russia war stops flow

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Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, has announced that the country will diversify its sources of wheat to avoid relying on what he described as “specific sources” for this product.

 

The minister added that the country would be using its strategic reserves until the end of 2022.

The announcement followed a ban on the export of wheat and other food staples announced by Ukraine.

 

Madbouly said the government is intensifying work to continue providing a strategic reserve of basic commodities, especially wheat.

 

“(We are) providing the financial funds required for the Ministry of Supply to quickly pay the dues of farmers who will supply the wheat crop during next April, while giving them the necessary incentives in this regard,” he added.

 

“The government …is closely monitoring current developments at the global level, and the turmoil it is witnessing due to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its repercussions … especially the shortage of a number of goods and the rise in prices worldwide.”

 

Last year, Russia accounted for 69.4 percent of Egypt’s wheat imports, while Ukraine accounted for 10.7 percent.

 

I assure all Egyptians that we won’t have any crisis at all or be compelled to buy from the international market until the end of this year. I am talking about the citizens’ basic needs concerning the bread loaf, we as the Egyptian state won’t be pressured at all to buy any shipments under the current price surges as we will have a stock that will cover our needs until the end of 2022″, said the Egyptian prime minister Mustafa Madbouly.

 

Egypt relies on Russia and Ukraine for the supply of wheat that is turned into bread, noodles and animal feed.

 

“It is true that Russia and Ukraine were our main source of wheat but we have already started to diversify our sources of wheat for imports in future deals, and that is already applied. We already buy (wheat) from various other countries. So we are always securing the diversity of our wheat sources so that they are not limited to specific countries”, promised the prime minister.

 

Sharp spikes in the cost of wheat could severely affect Egypt’s ability to keep bread prices at their current subsidised level.

 

Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said Egypt is working on a plan to import wheat from other regions instead of Russia and Ukraine. Egypt has 14 countries approved to supply wheat, some of them outside Europe, he added.

 

“Egypt has a strategic stock of wheat approaching 5 million tons in silos or mills, and local wheat will join them starting from next April 15, to suffice the stock for a period of nine months,” Saad said.

 

Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world. The government expects wheat imports to decline from 5.5 million tons in 2021 to 5.3 million this year due to growth in domestic production.

 

 

 

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Politics

Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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Politics

Farmgate: South Africa’s ruling party, ANC, defends President Ramaphosa, wants panel reports rejected

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South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has told the country’s lawmakers to reject a report that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct over a stash of cash in his farm.

The party’s Treasurer-General of the ruling African National Congress said Paul Mashatile, “the president continues with his duties as president of the ANC and the republic.”

Meanwhile, in his defence, President Ramaphosa in a statement to the Constitutional Court said “the panel misconceived its mandate, misjudged the information placed before it, and misinterpreted the four charges advanced against me.”

Ramaphosa wanted the panel report “reviewed, declared unlawful, and set aside”.

Ramaphosa also wants any steps taken by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, over the panel report to be declared unlawful and invalid, the papers showed.

According to one of the party chieftains, Mashatile, while addressing journalists on the development, the party’s National Executive Committee’s decision to back Ramaphosa is said not to have been unanimous.

“Were we unanimous? No, there were a lot of debates, but we had to end somewhere, and what I am reporting is where we ended. That we will not support this report,” Mashatile said.

The Parliament on Thursday received a report on an investigation on the president after a huge sum of money in cash was reportedly found (stolen) on his Farm.

President Ramaphosa denied any wrongdoing but confirmed that a robbery occurred and an estimated $4 million was stolen at the farm back in 2020, on his game farm.

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