Egypt’s Supreme Organizing Committee of Cotton agreed on Monday to allow cotton imports to satisfy the needs of existing factories, and determine the size of the cotton agricultural lands based on the internal and external demand, according to a statement from the cabinet.
Chairman of the Holding Company for Spinning and Weaving, Ahmed Moustafa, described the decision to allow importing cotton as a decision to revive the textile industry. He said that the Ministry of Agriculture was against the decision, and was determined to prevent the importation of cotton.
According to Moustafa, several boats loaded with imported cotton are waiting in seas after the decision to import cotton was cancelled on 4 July, as importing companies did not receive the approval from the Ministry of Agriculture for the ships to enter. These companies had to pay fines due to the delay.
The Supreme Organizing Committee of Cotton held a meeting on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb and attended by the Ministers of Trade, Industry, Planning, Finance, Investment, and Agriculture, as well as the President of the Egyptian Federation of Industries, the Chairman of the Holding Company for Spinning and Weaving, and the President of the General Union of Spinning and Weaving.
Another meeting was agreed upon between the Cotton Institute experts and officials, and concerned ministries to study the technical dimensions of the new agricultural policy for cotton, according to a cabinet statement on Monday.
Cabinet Spokesperson Hossam El-Kawish said that an approval was granted to study the amendments of Law 210/1994, to regulate the cotton trade in the state. He added that this will maintain the reputation and quality of Egyptian cotton. It has also been agreed to work on the distribution of this year’s cotton production, according to El-Kawish.
However, the statement did not elaborate on the required amendments to the law. The cabinet suspended all forms of cotton subsidies last January, after the government allocated about $550m in subsidies during the last agricultural season.
The Ministry of Agriculture is considered the entity responsible for the regulation of cotton cultivation in Egypt. Cultivation of medium and short staple cotton, Giza 80 and Giza 90, is concentrated in Upper Egypt, while extra-long staple cotton is cultivated in Egypt’s Delta.