ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT — Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Dr. Khaled Hanafy, and executives of Blumberg Grain, a leading U.S.-based food security company, held an official visit to the first site of the Shouna Development Project on June 16.
An initiative supported by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's Viva Egypt Fund, the Shouna Development Project will see the implementation of the Middle East and North Africa's largest integrated food security network for grain storage. The first phase of this project will modernize 105 Shouna, once open air storage pits, with state-of-the-art warehousing systems, known as Blumberg Grain Aggregation Centers, which will enable the primary processing and preservation of locally harvested wheat.
The integrated crop and food storage systems developed by Blumberg Grain and the Ministry of Defense's Engineering Authority will reduce post-harvest losses in Egypt, currently in excess of 40% of production, down to less than 5%. The first 105 systems are estimated to save Egypt $200 million annually.
Minister of Supply, Dr. Khaled Hanafy commented, "This is a great achievement for the Egyptians. We are now moving toward a future with improved infrastructure which supports President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's vision to build a sustainable economy, which is open, inclusive, and transparent. Blumberg Grain has delivered a system that will transform our nation's grain infrastructure, and we look forward to the system being fully complete and integrated."
The Shouna Development Project brings to Egypt the latest food security technology that will allow for screening, drying, cleaning, grading and bagging of wheat. This will enable processing capacity of 3.7 million tonnes of wheat per year, and create 750,000 tonnes of new static storage capacity, in turn revolutionizing the local wheat harvest value chain in Egypt. A second phase of the project would see an additional 207 Shouna modernized, bringing the total up to 300 sites.
"Blumberg Grain is helping advance the Egyptian Economic Development Strategy Towards 2030, which seeks to improve infrastructure, build a modern and democratic society and create jobs,” David Blumberg, Chief Executive Officer of Blumberg Grain, Middle East and Africa said. “We want to thank President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Ministry of Supply, and the Army Engineering Authority who have been the driving force of this project, assisting in turning concept into reality.
"We are pleased to see the completion of the first three Blumberg Grain Aggregation Centers, which will serve as training facilities for the managers at all sites. Along with our training, our state-of-the-art technology will help modernize Egyptian agriculture. Egypt, with the assistance of Blumberg Grain, is taking a positive step in the right direction in eliminating post-harvest losses and creating a model for food security."
Blumberg Grain said it also has plans to build a Manufacturing Plant and Export Hub, which will fabricate and distribute the Blumberg Grain systems for the entire Middle East and North Africa region. The location is yet to be determined, but Egypt is well positioned to serve as home to the Hub. If Egypt is selected, it will create more than 1,000 jobs for Egyptian nationals as well as having a $1 billion economic impact during its first year of operation, and a $7 billion impact over a five year period.
"We have great confidence in Egypt and its growing role as the food security center of the Middle East. I send my warmest congratulations to President al-Sisi, Minister Hanafy and the great Egyptian people for this accomplishment, and we look forward to our company's continued role in developing Egypt's food security and to our major investments in Egypt's future," Philip Blumberg, chairman of Blumberg Grain's parent company, Blumberg Partners, said.