Egypt Implementing High-Tech U.S. Grain Storage to Thwart Wheat Theft
Wheat theft is rampant at Egypt’s open-air grain storage sites, contributing to the country’s post-harvest grain losses that are estimated to be up to 40%. However, the world’s biggest wheat importer is acting to store the country’s wheat in state-of-the-art warehouses that are monitored by a central control system in Cairo that could save the country $200 million per year.
In December 2014, U.S.-based Blumberg Grain signed a $28 million agreement with Egypt to modernize 93 of the country’s grain storage sites. Three sites were completed in June, and the remaining sites should be completed before the harvest next spring.
Under the new system, farmers will weight their wheat on a machine that processes it, then the wheat will be weighed again on a second machine before the wheat is stored in the warehouse. The farmer will then receive a hard copy receipt, while a digital cop is automatically sent to the command center, providing little to no opportunity for fraud, theft, or human error.
"Just bringing the wheat indoors and putting a roof over it drastically reduces how much wheat is spoiled," said Peter Blumberg, vice-president at Blumberg Grain. "Much of the new technology here helps to monitor it once it's already inside and safe from pests and the elements."