Iraq plans wheat exports amid excess production

The Iraqi Ministry of Commerce traditionally purchases wheat from Kurdish farmers annually, buying around 500,000 tons last year at a rate of 850,000 dinars per ton.
Wheat harvest near Erbil. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Wheat harvest near Erbil. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) - This year's wheat production in Iraq has surpassed domestic needs, prompting the Ministry of Commerce to consider exporting approximately 1 million tons of wheat or diverting it to factories for zero flour production.

Haider Karrawi, Director General of the Grain Marketing Company, announced that the federal government allocated about 5.8 trillion dinars for the production of six million tons of wheat as part of the annual agricultural plan.

So far, 2.5 trillion dinars out of the allocated budget have been transferred to the General Company for Grain Marketing, with the funds distributed to southern provinces.

Karrawi stated that Iraq is expected to produce over seven million tons of wheat this year, exceeding the country's domestic needs by one million tons. The surplus will be exported or utilized for zero flour production to reduce reliance on imported flour.

However, plans to receive wheat from farmers in the Kurdistan Region have faced obstacles.

Last year, the Iraqi government received only 500,000 tons of wheat from Kurdish farmers, with the remainder purchased by local companies under the direction of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.

The Ministry of Agriculture’s Deputy in Kurdistan Region Government, Karim Sleman highlighted the last week’s meeting between the Team for Marketing Kurdistan Region’s Wheat and the Delegates from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade from the Iraqi Federal Government.

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Mr. Sleman stated “two offers made by the Iraqi Federal’s Ministry of Agriculture, one is to only buy 576 thousand Tons from the Kurdistan Region’s farmers, and the second one is only 605 thousand tons, but we rejected both offers” 

In response, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kurdistan Region has submitted a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, through Fuad Hussein, urging the acceptance of all wheat from Kurdish farmers.

The Iraqi Ministry of Commerce traditionally purchases wheat from Kurdish farmers annually, buying around 500,000 tons last year at a rate of 850,000 dinars per ton.