Egypt Lowers 2025 Wheat Self-Sufficiency Target to 51%

In a significant policy shift, Egypt has revised its wheat self-sufficiency target for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 to 51%. This adjustment comes as the country, one of the world’s largest wheat importers, aims to balance its agricultural priorities and economic challenges. The new target is a reduction from the previously announced goal of 65%, reflecting a strategic decision to diversify agricultural exports and optimize the use of farmland.

Egypt’s decision to lower its wheat self-sufficiency target is part of a broader strategy to diversify its agricultural output. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi emphasized the importance of using farmland for crops that can be exported, generating revenue to import wheat. This approach aims to maximize the economic benefits of Egypt’s agricultural sector while ensuring food security through international purchases.

The government plans to increase the total farmed area to 12 million feddans (12.5 million acres) by 2030. This expansion is expected to boost local wheat production to meet 56% of demand by 2030. Additionally, the government aims to achieve 67% self-sufficiency in corn by the same year, up from the current 46%.

Economic and Financial Context

Egypt’s economy has been under pressure due to a hard currency shortage, which has impacted its ability to import essential commodities like wheat. The situation improved somewhat with a $35 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates and an $8 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund. These financial arrangements have provided much-needed relief and stability to the Egyptian economy.

The revised wheat self-sufficiency target reflects the government’s pragmatic approach to managing its resources and economic challenges. By focusing on crops that can generate export revenue, Egypt aims to strengthen its financial position and reduce dependency on international markets for wheat.

Implications for Food Security

The decision to lower the wheat self-sufficiency target has significant implications for Egypt’s food security. While the country will continue to rely on international markets for a substantial portion of its wheat supply, the government is committed to ensuring that subsidized bread remains available to tens of millions of Egyptians. Local wheat production currently meets 49% of demand, up from 45% in 2020, indicating progress in domestic agricultural output.

The government’s strategy includes measures to support local farmers and increase productivity. By investing in agricultural technology and infrastructure, Egypt aims to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of its farming practices. These efforts are crucial for maintaining food security and supporting the livelihoods of millions of Egyptians who depend on agriculture.

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