Egypt launches food security network

by World Grain Staff
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CAIRO, EGYPT — Blumberg Grain, in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade and the Army Engineering Authority, announced on Dec. 5 that it is developing one of the world's largest and most sophisticated integrated food security systems for grain storage.

The project covers 93 sites throughout Egypt, and is expected to be operational for the next wheat harvest season. The new grain storage system will support Egyptian farmers in recovering crops lost to post harvest losses, saving Egypt an estimated LE 1 billion annually ($139.6 million).

This first phase contract represents $28 million in food security technology and systems for storage of locally grown wheat. Expansion of the storage network is anticipated for additional dry grains as well as cold storage needs, using Blumberg Grain's integrated systems.

David Blumberg credits the Army Engineering Authority and the Ministry of Supply for expediting the project, which had sustained some delays last month. 

"This begins the implementation of Minister Hanafy's vision for Egypt to become the food security center for the Middle East. We commend the minister and his staff for turning concept into action,” Blumberg said. “The Army Engineering Authority also played a key role in coordinating this agreement, and is expediting the project through engineering and civil construction phases.  We are very pleased to be working with the Army Engineering Authority on this project."

Blumberg Grain has also announced that it intends to build a self-financed factory and export hub to produce food storage technology and systems for the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region and has been entertaining offers from possible locations, including Egypt.

"Though the ongoing competition for our MENA manufacturing plant has not concluded, the contract places Egypt in a good position to gain the manufacturing plant and the company's investment program of up to $250 million in processing and packaging facilities as well as high yield farming," Blumberg said.

According to Christian Rath, Blumberg Grain's head of applied engineering, "The Blumberg Grain manufacturing plant would be one of the largest of its kind, with a production capacity of 1,200 food storage buildings annually and the capability to manufacture food security equipment, both for the Egyptian market and for export of 'Made in Egypt' food storage systems throughout the Middle East."

The MENA manufacturing plant will create 1,000 new jobs, as well as an economic impact estimated by KPMG at $1 billion in the first year, and $7 billion over five years. Furthermore, the plant will increase exports and utilize local content in the manufacturing process.

The MENA manufacturing plant will also include an Agricultural Institute to train farmers in techniques to raise crop yields and better secure and protect the quantity and quality of the harvest. 

Selection of the country-location and ground breaking is planned for early next year.

Despite the challenges facing Egypt, Blumberg Grain remains optimistic about the country's future. 

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