Egast Company plans to increase its exports by 25% to $35m this year, up from $25m last year.
The company’s exports director, Mohamed Deghedy, said that Egast now has three production plants with a storage capacity of 120,000 tonnes, adding that another storage station is being established on an area of 20 feddans, which will be dedicated for citrus fruits and potatoes, along with another fruits and vegetables packaging line that will be opened in the second half of this year.
He noted that the company exports to several markets, including Russia, European Union countries, and the Far East region.
Deghedy said that the company plans to expand in exporting some agricultural products, such as pomegranates, lemons, and melons, after beginning to exports other crops, including lettuce and cabbage, according to the demand of some markets, in addition to the company’s main crop; potatoes.
He explained that the company exported about 85,000 tonnes of different crops last year, with plans to boost the quantity to 120,000 tonnes through expansion in current markets and increasing the company’s land portfolio.
He pointed out that Russia is one of the most important markets for the company, with a share of 70% of total potatoe exports, adding that the company aims to increase exports to Russia by 30% this season.
Total potato exports were 529,500 tonnes last season, up from 336,800 tonnes in the previous one. The value of exports also increased from $145m to $179m.
Russia accounted for 127,400 tonnes of Egyptian potato exports last season, rising from 78,800 tonnes in the previous one, an increase of 61%.
Russia has issued a decision to resume flights to Egypt after about two years of suspension, since the downing of a Russian airliner in October 2015.
Moreover, Deghedy pointed out that the requirements set by the Ministry of Agriculture during the past year, regarding the registration and coding of exporting farms, is not in favour of small companies and farmers.
He explained that the decision serves only the largest exporting companies, and will have negative effects on Egyptian exports, as most exporting companies are not 100% self-sufficiency in exports and have to buy production from other farms.
He said that the ministry’s decision to use one lab significantly delays the inspection process, which impedes the export process.
The company has extensive experience in the export process starting from agriculture in its lands, under the supervision of qualified technicians, as well as sorting and packaging in their own stations.
“We are keen to maintain quality and excellence, along with attending international exhibitions to be updated with international market requirements,” he stressed.
Furthermore, Deghedy said that the Agriculture Export Council is interested in providing the necessary publicity for international exhibitions, but reducing the space allocated to exhibitors forces companies to rent more than one stand to properly show their products.
He stressed the importance of establishing advanced villages equipped with facilities and services to improve the conditions of farmers and encourage them to continue agricultural activity, to reduce the movement of young farmers out of the sector.
He added that the company is keen to adopt modernist procedures to meet international standards and achieve customer satisfaction by meeting their expectations, noting that Russia, the European Union, the Far East, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, and China are the company’s main markets.
Egast is a family company established in 1982 and specialises in the cultivation of potatoes. The company started exporting the crop in 2008, to become one of the most important importing and exporting companies of fruits and vegetables in the Egyptian market.