Some 900,000 feddans have been planted with wheat since the start of the season on Nov. 15, said Abbas al-Shennawi, a senior ministry official.

The target is the same as that set last season, when Egypt planted 3.4 million feddans of its own grain.

Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is looking to become more self-reliant by improving productivity and reducing waste in wheat farming.

The country's domestic wheat harvest is expected to start in mid-April.

(Reporting by Momen Saeed Atallah; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by David Goodman)