Press release
Cairo:15/9/2007
Life's loaf of bread
FDHRD's report on the crisis of loaf of bread in Egypt

Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) will issue a report named "Life's loaf of bread" and it will be issued tomorrow, on 16th September 2007. This report is the third report that is issued by FDHRD on the daily problems the Egyptian citizen suffers from.

The report highlights one of the problems that the Egyptian citizen suffers from which is the crisis of the shortage of the loaf of bread. In this regard, FDHRD has monitored how citizens stand in long rows to get the low-price loaf of bread that is financially supported by the government.

This report contains 20 pages and it is divided into three main sections. The first section of the report is on "the international criteria of guaranteeing the elimination of hunger". In this section, FDHRD approaches the important international criteria defined by the Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural rights and its comment on article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The second section of the report deals with the crisis of the loaf of bread in Egypt. In this section, FDHRD approaches the rate of consumption of bread in Egypt as the monthly production of wheat allocated for the traditional loaf of bread is 680 thousand tons. This rate does not go with the low production of wheat in general in Egypt as it is approximately 7.5 million tons yearly. The report indicates the Egyptian nations consumed approximately 12.4 million tons of wheat yearly during 1999-2001-2002. The local production of wheat in 2002 was 6.4 million tons while Egypt imported 6 million tons from abroad with the cost of 935 million US dollar in this year in order to fulfil the needs of people.

In addition, the second section of the report approaches the financial support for the low-priced bread by the government in Egypt as it highlights that the financial support of the loaf of bread takes 60% of the total support of food in Egypt. The total amount of money allocated for bread is 9 milliard Egyptian pounds yearly in order to produce 285 million loaves of bread daily.

The report refers to the fact that the government is financially supporting the production of the bread with the total amount of 7.3 milliard Egyptian pounds as the percentage of the traditional wheat that is financially supported by the government during 2006 was 82% as it was 6.6 million tons. The report also approaches the rate of the local production of wheat. In this regard, although the increase of the lands used for planting wheat, this increase does not match the increase of populations and the consumption rate. In addition, the report affirms there is lack of the increase of size of lands used for planting wheat and the reasons for such case is because the government takes the ton of wheat from farmers with the price of 700 L.E which led farmers not to increase planting wheat.

Finally, this section approaches the reasons of crisis of bread in Egypt as they are:
    1- Decreasing the size of lands used for planting wheat.
    2- Misusing the consumption of bread.
    3- Selling the finically supported wheat and flour in the black market.

    4- Decreasing the amount of wheat imported to the Ministry of Social Solidarity.
At the end of the second section, the report approaches the crisis of bread in Egypt in comparison with the international criteria defined by the Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural rights. The third section documented cases that showed the crisis of bread in Egypt during April till August 2007 as the cases were as follows:

No.

Kind of cases

Number of cases

1

Problems of bakeries

11 cases

2

Fighting on getting bread

8 cases

3

Damaged wheat and flour

12 cases

4

The level of the loaf of bread

6 cases

5

Lack of wheat

6 cases

6

Stealing wheat and flour

6 cases

7

Strikes done by the workers of flour production factories

7 cases

8

Wheat that includes cancer

8 cases

 

Total

64 cases



At the end of the report, FDHRD has recommended some recommendations which are: 1- Increasing the size of lands used for planting wheat to be 400 thousand feddans which will achieve a million tons of wheat production as each feddans shall produce 2.7 tons of wheat. Also, working in the future on increasing the planting wheat in more lands or amending the winter chemical structure of the harvest to produce more wheat.

2- Increasing the size of the lands used for planting wheat as wheat shall be planted instead of some other winter harvests. In this regard, the government shall amend the policy of defining low prices for wheat as it takes the ton of wheat from farmers with the price of 700 L.E which led farmers not to increase planting wheat. Therefore, the government imports wheat from abroad with high prices.

3- Decreasing the yearly consumption of wheat with the amount of 6 kilo grams. If such decrease takes place, the total consumption will decrease to be 402 thousand tons and consequently a sum of 63 million US dollar will be saved yearly which is the price of importing this amount.

4- Putting a plan for building a strategic storage for wheat which shall cover the consumption of wheat for more than 6 months in order to protect the national income from the decrease of the global prices, the crisis of global food crisis due to the decrease of the global production and the changes of international policies.

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