A farmer flattens the soil using a horse to prepare his land for growing rice in the 6th of October village in the Nile Delta province of Al-Baheira, northwest of Cairo, Egypt in this May 22, 2014 photo. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
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Egypt has more rice than it needs but little available for those who need it most. The price the government pays for rice has surged by about 50 percent in the past two months because traders are holding back supplies and expect prices to rise further following the government's failure to replenish its stockpiles.Mostafa al-Naggari, head of the rice committee of Egypt's agricultural export council, estimates the country produced 3.75 million tons of rice in the 2015 season and carried over 700,000 tons from 2014 .But the government's failure to stockpile rice has left it at the mercy of traders, who are unwilling to sell when prices are rising daily, Naggari said.Previous governments have stockpiled between 200,000 to 500,000 tons of rice, but Naggari said Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi had refused to buy any reserves.
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