Ghali Farm, an agricultural import and export company located in Beheira, plans to increase sales by 20% in 2016, aiming to close the year having recorded sales of EGP 42m by focusing on land reclamation projects and increasing its packaging capacity.
Reda Abdel Sattar, Chairman of Ghali Farm, said the company produced 15,000 tonnes of potatoes in the past year and that the cumulative value of sales on in domestic and foreign markets reached EGP 35m. Export activities accounted for 50% of total company business.
The company leases 2,000 acres in the city of Nubaria from the Food Security Sector affiliated with the Egyptian Armed Forces. Company farms are subject to pest-free area (PFA) supervision, which is a European Union affiliated project to take inventory of and combat brown rot. The project allows Egyptian products to be exported to all European Union member-countries.
Abdel Sattar announced that the company plans to reclaim 3,000 acres in the “Empty Valley” associated with the Wadi Natrun Centre. This process will include drilling wells, connecting a power supply, and preparing the ground for cultivation.
He explained that the company has a packaging plant on an area of 200 square metres in the city of Noubaria which is approved for exports. The plant was purchased from the Graduates’ Agency in Noubaria three years ago at a cost of EGP 1.5m, while the other station is located on an area of 3,500 sqm in Abu Bakr village, in Beheira.
He said that the company plans to complete expansionary work on the Abu Bakr packaging plant this year at a cost of EGP 7m, and the factory will have a packaging capacity of 10,000 tonnes per year.
In addition to additional land holdings and increased packaging companies, Abdel Sattar emphasised the importance of developing a set regulations for companies to adhere to in exporting agricultural crops.
“There are exporters who do not care about the quality of their products, which negatively affects the reputation of Egyptian products in foreign markets and pushes a number of countries to halt imports from Egypt until quality is improved. This takes place despite the fact that Egyptian products are in fact high-quality.”
He asked that the state pay agricultural export subsidies in a timely manner, pointing out that a number of companies suffered from delays in receiving their dues. Government disbursement can take from one to one and a half years, significantly hindering the export process.
Abdel Sattar praised the recent actions taken by the Central Bank of Egypt, saying that the bank is working to support agricultural exports by ensuring the value of exported shipments against a bank guarantee. He said this process decreases the likelihood that exporters will be vulnerable to fraud committed by foreign companies.
Potato crops represent the largest share of Ghali Farm products. The company exports a number of other crops including onions, peppers, watermelon, grapes, and cucumbers in particular. The company exports its products to Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia via land and Russia, Lebanon, and the UAE by sea.