Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Egypt’s Minister of Supply and Interior Trade, recently claimed that the country’s vast grain storage project will make them the largest grain hub in the Middle East and North Africa. Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, began work on the project, located in Damietta, in order to become a global logistics hub for grain storage by securing its own strategic reserves and exporting Egyptian flour to the Middle East and North Africa.
The project will be spread over an area of 3,350 square kilometres in the Nile Delta governorate of Damietta, and is expected to facilitate the trade of up to 65 million tons of grain and basic food commodities. As part of the project high-tech storage silos, will triple Damietta’s storage capacity to 7.5 million tons and two platforms capable of receiving vast quantities of cargo will be built in Damietta’s marine port, along with five manufacturing areas. It is hoped that the manufacturing areas will provide a lift to the food industry by producing flour, pasta, cooking oils and sugar for both domestic consumption and export.
Egypt is the largest purchaser of wheat in the world and the Damietta project is designed to secure the country’s strategic reserves and to allow it to export any surplus. In addition, it is believed that the project will save Egypt approximately $200 million annually as wastage is drastically reduced. American firm Blumberg Grain has been contracted to assist on the project, the company has experience of working with private companies and countries to improve agricultural output.
“The Damietta project will definitely take two years, and we are about to finish another national project in a few months. This government started one year ago, and we are about to finish 25 large-scale silos scattered across Egypt in the next 8-9 months. We have a mega project that will be finished in one month that will replace the traditional primitive system of storing domestically produced wheat, with a state-of-the-art modern system in 105 locations to better receive, store, and collect wheat,” said Hanafy.