Chamber of Commerce: Importing large quantities of rice and the new crop in the markets in mid-August
Traders: Decreased demand for fruits and vegetables due to the high prices
30% loss of goods from the freight is added to the prices in the retail markets
Transfer the money manipulators of simple people to the State Security Prosecution
The government began implementing President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s decision to prepare large wholesale markets in various neighborhoods of Cairo and the governorates, to provide various commodities, grains, vegetables and fruits at affordable prices for low- and middle-income consumers, with the aim of establishing a parallel market out of the reach of the intermediary links between the producer and the consumer.
Manipulators have made great financial gains at the expense of the simple citizen, as a result of exploiting the global financial crisis as a result of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, and the rise in the price of the dollar at the US Central Bank, in addition to the rise in the prices of wheat, oils and oil in many countries of the world.
This manipulation occurred, for example, in the prices of rice in the wholesale markets and selling it to distributors and retailers at 17 pounds per kilo, and storing large quantities of it until its price for the consumer reached from 19 to 20 pounds per kilo.
Ragab Shehata, head of the Cedars Division in the Cairo Chamber, says that Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development, held a meeting with the governors, the ministers of interior and supply, and heads of chambers of commerce, to start implementing President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s directives regarding preparing new wholesale markets in a number of Cairo neighborhoods and governorates. To display large quantities of basic commodities throughout the year, such as rice, sugar, oils, grains, vegetables and fruits with an appropriate profit margin, as they will be supplied directly from agricultural producers, the Services Authority, Greenhouses and national projects to new markets, to contribute to controlling prices, increasing the supply of goods and eliminating rings The mediator controlled by traders, in addition to breaking some cases of monopoly on some commodities such as rice, pointing out that cooperation will be conducted with businessmen in the agricultural development sector, food industries and some civil society organizations to ensure the availability of all basic commodities, grains, vegetables and fruits of various types at affordable prices for the consumer.
Shehata explained that the rice crisis is fabricated, and the reason for it is the greed of a number of weak-minded traders who took control of the intermediate links of a number of commodities and grains, including rice, by buying large quantities from farmers, storing them and putting them on the market for retailers in small quantities to monopolize and control their prices, such as What happened with rice, as a number of wholesalers were able to buy large quantities from farmers and withhold them from speculators to reduce the supply of it in the markets and raise its prices, which ranged between 16 and 20 pounds per kilo, pointing out that rice is available in large quantities of all types in markets and commercial chains, and from where it begins Its prices range from 16 pounds up to 20 pounds, which was no more than 13 pounds a few months ago, before large traders manipulated the quantity offered in the retail markets, as Egypt grows large quantities of rice and achieves self-sufficiency from it because it is grown in all the governorates of Lower Egypt.
The head of the Rice Division revealed that the prices of grains, vegetables and fruits will witness a 40% decrease in the coming days with the operation of new wholesale markets, especially since Egypt planted 1.7 million feddans in the 2021 season, and the area has shrunk during the 2022 season due to the violations that agriculture applied to farmers. However, this quantity does not lead to the exaggerated price hike that citizens suffered from during the previous period, pointing out that it is expected to increase the rice area during the new season to one million and 200 thousand acres, in addition to the state’s success in contracting to import large quantities of rice, which will be put on the market during The first of next July, with the aim of covering the needs of the supply, in addition to that, the new crop of rice will be launched on August 15 in the markets, at prices that will not exceed 12 pounds per kilo, with the supply of large quantities of high-quality rice from some export companies abroad, amounting to 30,000 tons.
Nasser Al-Sayed, a vegetable trader, spoke about the increase in vegetable prices, saying: The prices are determined according to the supply and demand ratio of commodities, merchandise and vegetables of all kinds, which are controlled by the big traders who buy a large percentage of the crop from the farms. They stockpile, like what happened with rice, and its price rises whenever the demand for it increases, pointing out that sometimes farmers expand the production of a particular crop and its harvest is beyond the capacity of greedy traders, and it has no export contracts, so they are forced to put it completely in the markets, as happened to tomatoes during many periods, Where a kilo of it was sold in wholesale markets for one pound, which inflicted heavy losses on the farmers of the successive lugs, so a large number of them ignored its cultivation in the following season, and the market offered decreased, so its price for the consumer rose above 10 pounds per kilo.
omens of vegetables
Nasser added that there is no current crisis in the availability of vegetables of different types, but the price varies, as it is at the beginning of the season it is high, because the quantities offered in the market are low, and after a while when the crop increases, prices begin to decline, as the price of okra was 60 pounds and molokhia was 30 pounds. And beans 25 pounds, grape leaves 60 pounds and tomatoes 15 pounds, then prices decreased by 25%, pointing to the need for the state to contract with farmers to buy a percentage of the crop for the benefit of government outlets, instead of leaving the contract entirely between farmers and large traders who control the percentage of vegetables that are put on the market.
Ashour al-Qatt, a fruit merchant, picked up the conversation, saying: Due to the unprecedented rise in fruit prices, the percentage of demand for their purchase has weakened significantly, due to the difficult economic conditions of a large segment of consumers, as watermelons were sold per kilo at 15 pounds, and reached 20 pounds and after The increase in supply has become a kilo at 10 pounds, but large segments of people find it an exaggerated price as well, because the size of watermelon is not less than 5 kilos, so the price of one watermelon becomes 50 pounds, pointing to the high prices of peaches and apricots, of which a kilo is sold at 25 pounds, and apples at 30 pounds. Therefore, there is no demand for fruit, not only because of its high prices, but also because its quantity is small for vegetables, as an acre costs from 30 to 54 thousand depending on the type of fruit, the price of fertilizers and pesticides, labor, the cost of harvesting, seeds and water provision, so the farmer does not accept Growing fruits in large areas.
Ali Ibrahim Ali, the legal expert, monitored that the escalation of prices and the monopoly of traders on many commodities is included in the penalties of the “Commercial Fraud Suppression” law, which punishes merchants’ greed, combats monopoly, and protects consumers from rising prices, pointing out that the Fraud Suppression Law No. 281 For the year 1994, it puts an end to the crimes of recurring market manipulation, as it is punishable by imprisonment for a period of not less than one year, and a fine of not less than 5,000 pounds, and not more than 20,000 pounds, or the equivalent of the value of the commodity, whichever is greater, or one of them, for anyone who deceives or attempts to deceive. To deceive the contracting party in any way, but if he attempts to commit it by using scales, measures, measures, or stamps of other counterfeit inspection machines, or by using means or documents that would make the process of weighing or inspecting the goods incorrect, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period of no less than one year. It does not exceed five years, and a fine of not less than 10,000 and not more than 30,000 pounds, or one of them.
Ali Ibrahim explained that the intermediary circles in the agricultural sector and the sale of commodities, crops and agricultural grains are among the most profitable commercial circles in the millions, especially when monopolizing some commodities, as happened with the rice crop when it was stored with large traders until the price of a kilo rose to 20 pounds, which is It is called the trade of collecting dirty money in a short time that does not exceed one or two seasons, which unfortunately affects the low and middle-income people, because it ignites the fire of prices in basic commodities such as oils, rice, etc., pointing out that the best solution is to enforce the laws against high prices and monopolizing prices, such as the commercial fraud law No. 281 of 1994, which penalizes anyone who tampers with trademarks or conceals goods or their nature or what they contain in their composition,” as well as Consumer Protection Law No. 181 of 2018, which punishes with life imprisonment and a fine of no less than 100,000 pounds and not more than 2 million pounds. In the event of harm to the health of the consumer, or the deliberate disappearance of the basic commodity from the market as a result of the multiplicity of intermediate links between the producer and the consumer.
In a related context, Dr. Souad El-Deeb, President of the Specific Union of Consumer Protection Associations, confirmed that the state’s direction towards fighting monopolists and price manipulators must be by activating fraud and anti-monopoly laws and consumer protection, especially with the government offering several alternatives to consumers, including the provision of various goods. In consumer complexes, fixed exhibitions, and mobile cars at discounted prices from the markets, all of which are serious attempts to provide the commodity and food products to the consumer at an appropriate price, and also aim to eliminate the intermediary rings and price manipulators. Reporting the monopolists of commodities, or price manipulators, in the event of their non-compliance with the declared prices, or when the difference between the prices announced by the state and the prices offered in the market increases, such as the increase in the price of eggs to 65 pounds, while it was sold in state outlets at 40 pounds, in order to reduce the greed of traders and the monopoly of goods .
El-Deeb explained that the establishment of the new wholesale markets announced by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is one of the most important projects to control markets and impose a price with an appropriate profit margin on traders. The new wholesale markets are able to reduce the intermediate links between the producer or the farmer and the consumer, especially since it is these rings that cause an exaggerated increase in prices, as the merchant emperors exploit them to monopolize the goods and not display them in the market in the quantity that reduces their price according to the standards of supply and demand and the availability of the commodity .
From producer to consumer
El-Deeb stressed that it is these intermediate rings that traders exploit to monopolize goods by reducing the supply of them in the markets at the expense of the farmer and the consumer, in addition to achieving huge profits from imposing a certain price on various commodities such as vegetables, grains and fruits, noting that the new wholesale markets that the governors prepare in Cairo Giza and a number of governorates will reduce the cost of the price of grains, vegetables and fruits because the sale will be in one place without the cost of transferring from a merchant to a merchant and with an appropriate profit margin for the product.
She added that the new wholesale markets will reduce the percentage of losses in goods and commodities, which reaches 30%, which traders used to add to the selling price to the consumer, in addition to providing the cost of freight, which was also added to the price of the commodity, noting that in light of the difficult economic conditions that the country is going through. The state is working to control the exaggerated price hike by offering the basic commodities that the consumer needs in large quantities, such as flour, sugar, meat, vegetables, fruits, grains and other basic products, and selling them at reasonable prices throughout the year, to avoid the random increase in prices imposed by some producers and a large number of Big traders according to their whims.
The head of the Specific Union of Consumer Protection Associations said: We are popular control over the markets, and we have no role to play under the current government. This percentage is 95% of oils, for example.. We have a crisis in meat of all kinds, and poultry prices have gone crazy, and yet we have not developed a strategy to solve this
Regarding the implementation of the Minister of Supply’s decision to transfer price manipulators to the Supreme State Security Prosecution, Dr. Souad El-Deeb, head of the Specific Union of Consumer Protection Associations, confirmed that the judicial officers of the Ministry of Supply and the Cairo Governorate, roam the market in surprise campaigns, listen to people’s complaints about prices, and make sure Including before arresting the merchants, noting that many parties within the markets are selling to citizens at the wholesale price, such as the widespread retail outlets and direct selling shops to citizens, but they must be subject to control, especially since price manipulation is often in imported agricultural products, or whose quantities are less In the markets, bidding is done on them so that traders achieve a percentage of their profits before putting them on the retail markets.
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