Ashraf El-Gazairly, head of the Chamber of Food Industries in the Federation of Egyptian Industries, said that the food processing sector is one of the most important pillars of the Egyptian economy in terms of export growth and job opportunities.
The food industries sector accounts for 14% of Egypt’s total exports and contributes 24.5% of GDP. Moreover, it accommodates 23.3% of the country’s workforce, providing about 7 million job opportunities.
El-Gazairly added that the food industry sector in Egypt has witnessed great growth and development during the last seven years, elaborated that the number of companies increased from 4,000 to 17,000, and the sector’s total investments amounted to approximately EGP 500bn.
He pointed out that Egyptian food products have a good reputation at local and international levels, and enjoy a great deal of global competition in light of the continued development and modernization of factories and the support of small and medium-sized companies.
He further noted that the Chamber pays great attention to food manufacturers in cooperation with its partners, which led to an increase in the sector’s exports by 20% last year. Additionally, the Chamber of Food Industries is working on raising the competitiveness of the sector and increasing production by attracting informal companies to adjust their situation to join the formal economy. Besides, the Chamber encourages continuous development and modernization of factories, and pushes companies to comply with technical requirements of the Egyptian Food Safety Authority by providing technical support.
The sector faces great challenges at local level with regard to agricultural production, livestock, poultry, and fish, as a result of the lack of awareness of farmers and breeders about peaceful methods of spraying pesticides and veterinary medicines, which have become one of the most serious challenges facing food safety and the national industry, according to El-Gazairly
The process of tracking all production elements such as agriculture and farms of all kinds plays a pivotal role in maintaining the sector’s export reputation and in providing healthy and safe food in local markets, he disclosed.
He called on the government and the Central Bank of Egypt to launch financing initiatives and awareness programmes on the importance of joining the food safety system.
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