The European Union (EU) and the Agribusiness Advisory service of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are planning to help agribusiness companies in Egypt to modernise their operations and improve productivity.
Agribusiness companies could be “a crucial component” of the Egyptian economy, according to the EBRD.
The bank added that lack of innovation, poor productivity, and substantial skills weigh on the growth of agribusiness firms in the Arab world’s most populous country.
“The EU is happy being a partner in this endeavour. This project is a good example of the EU’s support for the Egyptian private sector. It also provides opportunities for additional social and environmental benefits in the agribusiness ecosystem,” ambassador to the EU Delegation in Egypt Ivan Surkos said.
Moreover, the EBRD said that the Egypt-based Medsofts company is looking to secure enough grain supply for the North African country, in collaboration with the EU-funded EBRD Advice for Agribusiness programme to improve the nation’s food security.
“We are also one of the main logistical operators in the country,” Tarek Tawfik, one of the two brothers who founded Medsofts, said.
“One of our biggest challenges was trying to obtain sufficient financing for the growth of our business. Later on, we started facing logistical challenges in our operations and we also started looking into our risk and management policies,” Tawfik added.
For his part, Medsofts’ general manager Sherif Abdel Ghaffar said: “When we decided to build this storage on the river Nile in 2012, it was a brand new approach to grain handling in Egypt. Today it is the only such river terminal for grain storage in our country.”
Egypt currently produces eight million tonnes of wheat per annum and consumes nearly 20 million.
Egypt, the world’s biggest grain buyer, covers this huge gap by importing wheat from other markets such as Ukraine and North and South America.
Private grain importers are expected to become more important in the future as imports are likely to rise to 27 million tonnes by 2025, EBRD said.