Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The Director of the General Company for Grain Trade at the Iraqi Ministry of Trade, Muhammad Hanoun, stated on Sunday that Iraq intends to import 1.5 million tons of wheat from the United States and Australia this week, according to Al-Sabah newspaper.
The Iraqi News Agency (INA) cited a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade earlier explaining that the country is moving forward to allocate two million tons of wheat as a strategic stockpile for six months.
The Iraqi Minister of Agriculture, Muhammad Karim Jasim Salih, mentioned earlier that Iraq’s stocks of wheat are sufficient for local consumption for a period that does not exceed three months.
Salih added that Iraq will support the Ministry of Trade to prepare a strategic stockpile of wheat by importing three million tons, and allocating 100 million USD for urgent purchase.
At the time worldwide prices of wheat have soared due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Iraqi farmers say they are paying the price for a government decision to cut irrigation for agricultural areas by 50 percent, according to Ahram Online.
The government took this step to face severe water shortages arising from high temperatures, drought and ongoing water extraction by neighboring countries from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. All those factors have heavily strained wheat production, Ahram Online mentioned.