Iraq to allow food imports for three months – report

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq will allow all food imports for three months in order to enhance food security, the state news agency INA reported on Wednesday, according to Reuters. 

Iraq, a major grain importer, is taking urgent measures to secure strategic stocks of wheat and support a local food subsidies programme as the Ukraine-Russia conflict raises food supply concerns.

The trade ministry said on Tuesday it is working to allocate 2 million tons of wheat for Iraq’s strategic reserves, which would be sufficient for 6 months, according to Reuters.

Last month, Iraq’s minister of agriculture said the country’s wheat stockpiles wouldn’t not exceed three months of consumption.

Iraq is a major Middle East grain importer and needs between 4.5 million and 5 million tons of wheat a year to supply its massive food rationing program.

Earlier this month, Iraq’s minister of trade said the country would allocate $100 million to urgently purchase wheat and to create a strategic reserve by importing three million tons of the grain, as food prices are rising due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine export about a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products, like seeds and oil, according to BBC. Ukraine also sells a lot of corn globally.

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