The Ministry of Agriculture agreed to allocate 10,000 acres in the New Valley governorate to PepsiCo, according to the company’s Director General, Mohamed Shelbaya.
The land was allocated, but the company has yet to acquire it, says Shelbaya, who added that the company’s plan is to plant the land with potatoes that meet the company’s standard specifications for chips.
Shelbaya added that PepsiCo imported potato seeds in 2014 worth a total $27m, mentioning that they will no longer import once the project offers local production.
“Acquiring potato seeds that meet standard specifications for production takes four years,” said Shelbaya, adding that the project will create approximately 3,500 job opportunities.
He also said the project is a great shift in the company’s strategy with respect to expansion in the Egyptian market during the next few years. The expansion would include all aspects of the production process, starting from a labour force which will be trained to the final product the consumer receives.
“Importing the needed crop through the next five years will cost $50m,” said Shelbaya.
PepsiCo announced in March its plan to pump $500m new investments into Egypt during the current period.
Shelbaya believes the step the company took by increasing the number of suppliers would increase sales growth by 8% to 9% annually, expecting the company to achieve sales growth of 10 to 11% this year. PepsiCo has acquired 51% of the market share, according to Shelbaya.
Ahmed El-Sheikh, SVP and General Manager of the North East Africa Unit at PepsiCo Egypt, told Daily News Egypt that the number of Egyptian workers is about 21,000. Moreover, the company pumped $200m investments during the last two years.