A farmer picks cotton on a farm in Qaha about 25 km (16 miles) north of Cairo, September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
CAIRO, Aug 5 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt and Ukraine agreed on Wednesday on a deal which will see Egypt give Ukraine cotton in return for Ukrainian wheat, the state news agency MENA reported.
The agreement between the two countries comes during a visit of Ukraine's agriculture minister, who agreed with his Egyptian counterpart to strengthen cooperation in the field of agriculture.
Egypt has long been famous for its unique long staple cotton, a reputation it gained under the British colonial rule.
Total Egyptian cotton exports rose by 94.3 percent year on year, in the period from December 2014 to February 2015, the national statistics agency reported in May.
Yet, the Egyptian state, the world's largest importer of wheat, must spend billions of Egyptian pounds, annually to ensure that there are sufficient strategic reserves of wheat, both local and imported.
In the first three quarters of the previous fiscal year, Egyptian imports of wheat were worth $1.63 billion, according to the most recently available figures by Egypt's central bank.
In July, Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) bought 120,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia and 60,000 tonnes from Ukraine to produce subsidised bread.