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Iraq to increase grain imports due to drop in local produce


This year’s severe drought is forecast to lower wheat and barely yields in Iraq by up to 35 percent, the Ministry of Planning said. The ministry, in a statement, added that Iraq has been subjected to one of its worst droughts in recent history this year. Wheat and barley yields may not exceed one million tons, the ministry added. Iraq needs up to four million tons of wheat to meet domestic produce and at least two million tons of barley used mainly as animal feed. Last year Iraq harvested more than 1.5 million tons of both crops and the rest it imported from abroad...

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Iraq to increase grain imports due to drop in local produce

Ali Shatab, Azzaman

May 16, 2008

This year’s severe drought is forecast to lower wheat and barely yields in Iraq by up to 35 percent, the Ministry of Planning said.

The ministry, in a statement, added that Iraq has been subjected to one of its worst droughts in recent history this year.

Wheat and barley yields may not exceed one million tons, the ministry added.

Iraq needs up to four million tons of wheat to meet domestic produce and at least two million tons of barley used mainly as animal feed.

Last year Iraq harvested more than 1.5 million tons of both crops and the rest it imported from abroad.

Iraq’s food import bill has been ballooning and is estimated at more than five billion dollars.

Worst hit area is the wheat and barley growing belt to the east of Mosul traditionally know as Iraq’s 'bread basket.’

But the area relies almost wholly on rainfall which has been very scarce this year.

The ministry forecast yields of wheat at 590,000 tons and barley at 483,000 tons this year.


:: Article nr. 44089 sent on 16-may-2008 20:44 ECT

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Link: www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2008-05-16\kurd.htm



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