Egypt’s Minister of Public Enterprise Sector Hisham Tawfik undertook a review of the government’s efforts to boost the country’s distinguished global reputation as a cotton producer.
The minister’s review came during the celebration of International Cotton Day, which took place on 7 October, in which he also sought to promote Egypt’s strong return to the global cotton market.
Tawfik said that a comprehensive and complete restructuring process, worth investments exceeding EGP 21bn, is being carried out for the ginning, cotton, spinning and weaving companies affiliated to the Minister of Public Enterprise Sector.
During his speech, he said that Egypt’s cotton ginning companies went for decades without upgrades or modernisation. They are now, however, being developed through the supply and installation of the latest technology in this field.
He pointed out that the improvements to Egypt’s cotton gins included the production of cotton machines completely free of impurities. These come complete with a “barcode”, with the specifications of the cotton packed inside and the place of cultivation and ginning.
Put together, these could raise the price of Egyptian cotton exports, as well as maximise the added value of locally produced cotton through manufacturing operations.
Tawfik stated that the operation of the first developed gins, which are located in the Fayoum Governorate, has already started.
This is provided that, by the end of 2020, the development of three further gins will be completed in the governorates of Sharqeya, Beheira and Gharbeya, in addition to three other developed gins in 2021.
He added that his ministry, in cooperation with the Ministries of Agriculture, and Trade and Industry, is for the second successive year supervising the implementation of a new system for trading cotton.
The project began in the governorates of Fayoum and Beni Suef in 2019, with the governorates of Sharqeya and Beheira coming on board in 2020.
The new system relies on receiving cotton directly from farmers without intermediaries at collection centres, and auctions are conducted with the participation of private sector companies. It is in preparation for the introduction of cotton trading facilities through Egypt’s commodity exchange next year.