A proposal has been ratified by the Iraqi government in this week, regarding the purchase prices of wheat, barley and yellow corn. To support the local farmers a few decisions will be taken from the government and it is anticipated that through this agricultural sector would experience a significant growth.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Mahdi al-Qaisi stated that the cabinet has been ratified the proposal. He said, “The purchase prices this year will go up by 10% over last year's prices”. He also added, “The government used to buy top grade wheat at 720,000 dinars ($619) per tonne, barley at 520,000 dinars ($447) per tonne and yellow corn at 320,000 dinars ($275) per tonne.”
From the government regulatory bodies, it has been stated that the decision is taken to help the farmers, as well as to encourage them. Al-Qaisi also stated that local food production will take a significant leap after such measures from the government. This will make Iraq self-sufficient as well, and the country will be able to get rid of excessive inflation due to import of the crops.
He described, "The purchase prices of the three crops are higher than import prices, but this does not constitute a loss if viewed from a forward-looking perspective." Also added by his, "The government is trying, out of a strategic vision, to boost local production and revitalize the state of agriculture, which cannot be accomplished without supporting the farmer."
Above all of these, some initial benefits can also be achieved through buying these crops locally. As these crops are produced locally, this will help to rejuvenate local economy also.
Al-Qaisi said his ministry "is working, as part of its strategic plan, on improving the level and quality of the local production of these crops" by way of "two important projects". Farmers are supplied different farming materials at a subsidized price. This is the first aim of the government. Secondly, the government also planned for carrying out researches so that production, as well as the quality of the crops can be raised. Hence, it will become a win-win situation for both the farmers and the buyers or consumers.
For helping the farming sector, government is also considering in facilitating short term farming loans, with low interest rates.
Faisal Rashid Nasser, advisor at the ministry, has appreciated this initiative and praised the approval of the latest project.
He stated, "It is part of government plans to help farmers meet some of the cost of agricultural production, and enable them to make more money, which would encourage them to make further progress and put in more effort to build up the country's agricultural sector,"
Itab al-Douri, a member of the parliamentary agriculture committee, also appreciated this effort from the government and proclaimed, "We at the committee give our blessings to this latest government step."
According to him, the government should provide both moral and material support to the farmers to rejuvenate the farming sector if the country. Obaid al-Shammary, a farmer, stated that he and his fellows are grateful towards the government for taking up such supportive decisions in favor of them. This will encourage them a lot in near future and he is hoping the production will definitely raise due to such government initiatives.