ITC is investing 5 million pounds for the export of agricultural crops to establish its first production line for packing, washing and sizing sweet potatoes, while the company aims to export nearly 2,000 tons of potatoes this season.
Ihab Sharaf, the company’s chairman, said that ITC invested about 3.5 million dollars in establishing its first production line inside the company’s plant on an area of 4,500 square meters, during the current month of October.
The company will add approximately 1.5 million pounds to equip the line at the station, in addition to providing lines for draining washing water for agricultural crops.
Sharaf explained that the line is dedicated to sorting, disinfecting, washing, drying, sizing and electronically packing all agricultural crops, especially sweet potatoes, as its production capacity reaches nearly 120 tons per day.
The company had a preference between establishing its first production line instead of filling it with others previously, or moving towards expanding agricultural land reclamation.. But it preferred to invest in establishing a production line, provided that positive steps are taken towards agriculture during the next year.
Sharaf stressed that investing in the production line will bring several benefits to the company, including achieving all the European requirements required during the current period, the most important of which is preserving the product from mold, washing and sizing crops by electronic methods instead of manual, in addition to cooperating with exporters in the market and introducing new material resources to the company.
The company will benefit by packing agricultural crops for external customers in the export markets under each customer’s own brand, in addition to packing for local exporters as well.
He pointed out that the station has the possibility of storing agricultural crops for about 2,000 tons, and that its full capacity will be used in the coming period, which will contribute to raising exports and increasing competitiveness locally and globally.
ITC was established in 2015 and specialized in exporting agricultural crops, and began exporting in early 2016, sweet potatoes, grapes, oranges, potatoes, pumpkins, mangoes, and strawberries.
The chairman of the company’s board of directors said that the continued low prices of the sweet potato crop since the beginning of the season last June caused a decline in the volume of export targets for the new season.
He pointed out that the company has exported nearly 1,200 tons of the sweet potato crop since the beginning of the season, and plans to raise export rates this year to reach 2,000 tons, or achieve the same rates as last year, in light of the continued decline in demand for the second season in a row.
Sharaf explained that the reopening of restaurants in foreign markets caused a decline in demand for agricultural crops in commercial chains, which are the main importers of agricultural crops for the sweet potato crop from Egypt.
He pointed out that the company exports its entire production capacity, and the largest percentage of the company’s exports is concentrated in the markets of Holland, Germany, France, England, Portugal and Denmark.
The company aims to expand in the European market and enter new export markets in Italy, Switzerland and Sweden due to the high demand there for fresh vegetables and fruits.
The company produces nearly 1,000 tons of the sweet potato crop and exports it to foreign markets. However, the decline in demand from foreign trade chains prompted the company to offer 20% of the crop in local markets.
Sharaf explained that the company produces approximately 15% of the agricultural crops required for export, while 85% depends on traders and farmers to supply the remaining quantities of export contracts of fresh sweet potatoes to the station.
ITC is participating in the “Fruit Attraction” exhibition for agricultural crops, this week, which is a good opportunity to meet the company’s existing customers and open new export markets through new customers after an absence of more than a year due to the repercussions of the spread of the Corona virus.
The article “ITC” invests 5 million pounds to establish a production and packaging line for sweet potatoes was written in Al Borsa newspaper.