Member of parliament and of the fact-finding committee on wheat supplies, Raef Tamraz, called for the armed forces to claim sovereignty over wheat silos so that the committee can complete the preparation of the inventory and match it to the figures announced earlier.
Tamraz said the parliament’s committee has been facing difficulties completing its task, especially as they found the wheat lying on asphalt and dirty ground.
“If manipulation or fraud is proven to exist in wheat supplies, the parliament will call for sacking Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy,” Tamraz warned.
The government received 4.8m tonnes of wheat from local farmers this season, Hanafy said earlier in a press release.
Tamraz said that the numbers could not be correct, claiming they only amount to a maximum of 3m tonnes. He explained that 2 million acres were cultivating wheat this season. This area, he added, could only produce 4m tonnes, of which farmers keep 50%.
He noted that delivery statements at silos estimate a maximum of 3m tonnes of wheat. “This means there are fake supplies,” he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture had asked the government to stop wheat imports during the period of supply between mid April and mid June. The government refused to consider the request.
Tamraz said that the cost of wheat bought from farmers this season amounts to EGP 13.4bn, including fake supplies, while the actual supply should have cost no more than EGP 8.4bn—wasting EGP 5bn of taxpayers’ money.