PepsiCo has put forward a request to the Ministry of Agriculture for land to cultivate potatoes, according to General Manager of PepsiCo North East Africa and Egypt Ahmed El-Sheikh.
The company put forward the request to be able to produce locally instead of importing.
He announced that the cost of importing seeds will be approximately $20m, and that the ministry is considering the project and will offer technical assistance through ministry laboratories.
El-Sheikh added the company is currently cultivating 5,000 acres and will cooperate with small farmers and 4,000 farms during the next phase. PepsiCo will also buy these farmers’ potato production in accordance with the company’s technical specifications.
Al-Sheikh added that the company’s investments for the year 2014 reached approximately $270m, which included the development of a number of factories, sales and production lines, and new distribution refrigerators. A number of job opportunities were provided as well, he said.
Al-Sheikh said that through company’s social responsibility efforts, 100 small companies were developed via company contributions to training and financial support.
He explained that a recent meeting between US companies and the Egyptian government was also attended by a number of ministries and eight ministers from the economic group. All were careful to emphasise the removal of all penalties for investors and improvements in the investment climate.
Al-Sheikh added: “The economy is on the right path, and this is easily observed right now. We are feeling tangible movement in growth rates.”
Regarding new and renewable energy, Al-Sheikh said that his company is currently working to utilise new energy in company storage, although the process is a difficult one to implement in factories due to high costs.
He said that the government has promised to provide the energy supplies required by factories to ensure that stoppages do not take place.