Iraq’s grain trading company said on Tuesday it would pay farmers between 420,000 and 560,000 Iraqi dinars ($ 354-472) for local wheat in the 2018 season, keeping prices unchanged from last year.
The government-run company listed the local wheat crop at three degrees and set the price of wheat at a “first grade” of 560,000 dinars per tonne, while the price of second-class wheat was set at 480,000 Iraqi dinars per tonne.
A local company statement said local wheat of the lowest quality will be priced at 420 thousand dinars per tonne.
The company imports millions of tons of wheat and rice a year, where millions of Iraqis depend on a broad government subsidized food system run by the Ministry of Commerce.
The new president of the General Grain Trade Company said he expected local wheat production to reach at least 2.5 million tonnes in the 2018 season, an improvement over previous estimates given the country’s recent rains.
Iraq needs an annual wheat supply of between 4.5 million and 5 million tonnes, indicating an import gap of about 2 million tonnes a year.
A comprehensive plan to rehabilitate state silos has been prepared to accommodate the expected increase in domestic wheat harvest this year, including in Mosul, which is expected to produce a larger-than-expected wheat crop, officials at the General Grain Company said.
A company official said the prices for the wheat crop for 2018 seemed reasonable and sufficient to encourage farmers to produce more high-quality wheat, which would reduce costly imports.