The Egyptian Company for Agricultural and Rural Development (ECARD), affiliated to the Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural credit (PBDAC), plans to revive the contractual agriculture project in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Egyptian Poultry Producers Union, according to Sayed ElKosayer, the chairperson of PBDAC.
Contractual agriculture means that the state agrees with farmers to cultivate a crop on a specific area that the government decides, where it has to commit to purchasing these crops from farmers for predefined prices.
According to Elkosayer, the plan will start with cultivating yellow maize in the governorates of Upper Egypt as their weather suits these crops without a need for driers. Afterwards, the crops will be cultivated across the govenrorates of lower Egypt after building driers in them.
In an exclusive statement to Daily News Egypt, Elkosayer said that starting with yellow maize will lead to supplying Egypt with the amounts that would otherwise be imported, which would be worth $1.6bn, noting that the ECARD will purchase the crop from farmers and supply it to poultry producers.
“The agricultural bank of Egypt is currently developing a work strategy for the ECARD, considering it the bank’s commercial arm, which plays a strong role in supporting Egyptian farmers and providing them with the necessary tools,” Elkosayer said.
He pointed out that in order to achieve this, the bank increased the number of the distribution outlets affiliated to the company. It has also obtained the approval of the prime minister to allocate 10% of subsidised fertilisers to distribute. In addition, the company contracted with the private companies which trade in unsubsidised fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, and agricultural equipment so farmers can have all their needs.
The ECARD signed a cooperation protocol on Tuesday with Belmachinery for International Trade, the representative of Minsk Tractor Works in Belarus, with the aim of marketing, distributing, selling, and maintaining tractors produced by the company in Egypt.
According to Elkosayer, the company also signed a cooperation protocol with the National Organization for Military Production (NOMP), with the aim of manufacturing, producing, and marketing different agricultural products serving farmers. They include seed driers, contractors, electricity generation units, water pressure units, pesticides, and plows of different kinds.
Elkosayer added that cooperation with NOMP includes cooperation in the works of construction and engineering consultancy. The company will also market and promote the products and tools through the different branches and outlets it owns.
The Agricultural Bank had reconstituted the board of directors of the ECARD and appointed Mostafa Hadhoud, the former governor of Beheira, as its chairperson.
This step aims to develop the company and maximise its role in serving Egyptian farmers.
The ECARD was established on 5 April 2004. Its authorised capital reached EGP 3bn, while its paid up capital reached EGP 1.2bn.
According to Elkosayer, the company works as an extension of the bank in terms of carrying out the works related to providing and marketing the needs and outputs of agricultural production and stocking different seeds throughout the year.