Deputy Agriculture Minister Ghazi al-Ubaidi has stated that Iraq has gained the ability to meet its domestic demands for the vegetables and fruits of different kinds. He also remarked that recent leap in agriculture has put Iraq in a strong position and soon the agricultural sector of Iraq will serve nation’s economy significantly.
According to the deputy agricultural minister, it has been revealed that the agricultural boom is a clear success of the projection that was made in 2008, by establishing self-sufficient plan for the Iraqis. He stated, “Only fruits and vegetables which cannot be grown or planted in the country are not covered by the import ban.” To support the local market, this step of banning has been taken as he revealed.
However, he was asked about the effects of the ban, which may lead to price rise in the local market, as claimed by many critiques. However, deputy agricultural minister, Ubaidi has denied the possibilities of such chances and also claimed that vegetable prices are much lower in these days than earlier.
He said currently Iraq met 65% of its domestic needs for wheat, with yields reaching 3.2 million tons. Introducing new fruit trees and new breeds of vegetables and cereals to boost output – are some of the prominent steps that were taken to achieve success.
Iran, Turkey, Jordan, and mainly Syria – these are the countries from where Iraq used to import its vegetables and fruits. However, unrest in Syria would cause food scarcity in Iraq too. But, now Iraq is self-sufficient enough and thus, the country does not need to depend on Syrian imports anymore.
However, Iraq has to import huge quantity of rice from other places. Hence, ministry is expected to take some positive measures to increase domestic rise production to slash down the export costs. Despite Ubaidi’s claim of bumper wheat harvests, the country is still a big importer of the cereal, with annual import volumes estimated at about 3 million tons.