Nogom Agricultural Exports aims to achieve EGP 27m in exports by the end of this year compared to EGP 20m recorded during 2015, representing a 35% increase.
Chairman of Nogom Yassin Ahmed said the company intends to increase exports by way of a new plan to enter several markets and widen the scope of its activities in existing markets.
Ahmed explained that the company’s annual exports amounted to 1,700 tonnes and hopes to increase the figure to 2,200 by the end of this year. He said 100% of the company’s exports are sent to European countries most notably Switzerland, England, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The decline in agricultural crops on the global market last year helped increase the quantities exported this year as well as prices dropping 20% for several products.
The agricultural crops sector faces many issues that hinder development, at the forefront of which is a lack of skilled labour on the local market. This means that more time and effort must be put into production.
He said shipping products has come to form another obstacle suffered by the sector after offices and contractors with no experience or respect for time have taken over this field within the sector. These organisations often delay shipments, meaning that companies must pay late fees to clients abroad.
There is a lack of supervision on maritime lines because they are fully owned by foreign companies, indicating that shipments arrive late by an average of 15 days to European ports, which influences product quality.
If Italian export methods are followed, shipments will only take eight days but the cost of transport from Italy to European countries is high because goods are transported on the road. He emphasised the need to find private Egyptian shipping lines to facilitate export and lighten the burden on exporters.
Ahmed suggested that the government sign a transport agreement with Greece and that this could be utilised to reach European markets and shorten the time and cost required by shipments in comparison to Italy.
He criticised the lack of governmental support for export companies in the event that they are unable to collect dues from customers abroad, which negatively impacts the emergence of a new generation of exporters.
Egyptian trade representation offices in countries abroad are not undertaking the role they were established to play and Ahmed called for the offices to provide information to customers abroad as well as studies on consumers’ tastes and preferences within these countries.
There is a need for an office for exporters to be established in exporting countries. The office would help exporters collect late payment from customers, help companies become more competitive, and promote their products.
The government delayed the disbursement of dues owed to exporting companies in the form of export support for the season 2014/2015, exposing exporters to significant risks. He indicated that the funds were considered liquidity by several companies, especially smaller ones, in preparation for the new season. Egypt is among the countries providing the least amount of support to exporters, Ahmed said.
The increase in the cost of transport and production combined with export companies’ delayed receipt of export support caused several companies to be hesitant to export bean and strawberry products this season. Prices for such goods have dropped in the global markets.
Nogoom Agricultural Exports Company exports green and dried onions, garlic, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and pomegranates.