The Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) has completed its preparations ahead of the 2022 local wheat harvest season, as the area, storage units, and collection points of the bank — which are spread throughout the republic — continue to receive local wheat from suppliers in implementation of the state’s directives to prepare all means for the success of the season.
The bank is also facilitating supply operations from farmers and receiving all wheat supplied from them provided that it conforms to the specifications and terms of supply.
Chairperson of the ABE Alaa Farouk confirmed that the bank has completed all its preparations to ensure the success of this wheat harvest season by establishing an integrated system to receive wheat.
He pointed out that this comes within the framework of the ABE’s endeavour to increase the import rates of local wheat to support the state’s efforts to receive and preserve strategic wheat crops in accordance with the specifications set by the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade.
Farouk explained that the ABE is one of the most important marketing outlets that receive local wheat from farmers and suppliers on behalf of the General Authority for Supply Commodities, given that it has the largest storage areas for receiving and storing wheat spread throughout the republic, stressing that the bank has increased the number of storage sites this year to reach 196 sites with storage areas of about 806,000 sqm expected to receive about 850,000 tonnes of wheat this season.
He also stressed that the system the ABE has established to receive wheat will be fully managed electronically through the provision of point-of-sale machines in all storage sites, through which a real-time database is provided that includes information specific to each supplier, the supplied quantity, the degree of sorting, and other relevant information.
This data will be linked to smart display screens linked to the main centre and all the bank’s branches in the governorates to view the supplied quantities on time for each storage unit and monitor its performance in cooperation with the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.
Furthermore, Farouk pointed out that the bank has established a special operations room for the local wheat supply season to monitor and organise supply operations, and that the bank also participates in the membership of the central operations room in the supply ministry.
Moreover, he stressed that the new system will greatly facilitate the supply process, as it will enable suppliers to collect the financial value of the supplied quantities in cash or through their bank accounts, as the bank allowed suppliers to open an account with it for free and obtain a prepaid bank card.
The bank also allows payment to suppliers using the method of their choice, stressing that the amounts owed to suppliers will be exempt from any administrative expenses or bank commissions and will be paid in full according to purchase prices and incentives approved by the state.
Additionally, Farouk explained that the bank has implemented a comprehensive plan to prepare sites and storage spaces to receive wheat, which includes the implementation of disinfection operations for barn floors and fumigation of the staples to ensure the highest standards of storage quality, and the provision of about 5m new jute bags for packing, in addition to the provision of scales for the sack and stamps in cooperation with the Stamping and Scales Department.
The bank is also reviewing all security and safety procedures at the various sites to ensure that the highest standards of security and safety are achieved in order to preserve the stored wheat and the safety of workers in those sites.
He pointed out that a number of precautionary measures were taken to confront the repercussions of the spread of the coronavirus, including not allowing entry to the site except to the driver of the transport vehicle and the owner of the cargo, and ensuring that the members of the sorting and receiving committee take the necessary precautions and measures in order to preserve public health and the safety of all.
Furthermore, Farouk confirmed that a number of new policies have been put in place to facilitate all submissions, including that all capacities and storage sites of the bank will receive any quantity of wheat — no matter how small — in order to encourage small farmers to supply their crops directly to the bank without an intermediary and benefit from the declared price.
This is in addition to the fact that the bank provides special plastic sacks for the supply to facilitate stocking and to facilitate the process of withdrawing wheat from the sack on a timely basis.
The bank also allowed farmers or suppliers to weigh their goods at the nearest truck scale, provided that its weight is reviewed with the knowledge of the Shouna and the representative of the Qabbana Association.