SULAIMANI (ESTA) — More than 200 trucks loaded with tons of fruits and vegetables produced in the Kurdistan Region have been prevented by the Iraqi army in Kirkuk to enter the southern and central provinces, according to Esta reporter on Tuesday.
Trucks loaded with hundreds of tons of locally produced agricultural products by the Kurdish farmers have lined up before the Chiman security checkpoint controlled by the Iraqi authorities on the Sulaimani-Kirkuk road.
“The Iraqi army prevents the trucks from entering the disputed city of Kirkuk to flow their loads to the Iraqi provinces,” the reporter said.
“All of our loads are locally made and from the Kurdistan Region,” a driver told the reporter. “They keep telling us it’s not allowed to bring your loads despite the fact that we have official authorization from the Ministry of Agriculture.”
The drivers have been stopped for four days. Most of the products inside the trucks have gone rotten due to high temperatures in the area.
“We demand the Kurdish people to not allow the fruits and vegetables made in Iraq to be brought to the Kurdistan Region in return,” another driver whose truck loaded with tons of cucumbers produced in Sulaimani City said.
“They are not an imported product from abroad, they are locally produced. They know everything but they want to hurt Sulaimani people.”
Earlier on Monday a delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Agriculture visited Baghdad to address Iraqi officials on this issue, handing a letter of dissatisfaction.
“Kurdish Agri-products have been prohibited to be flowed into the markets in the southern and central provinces of Iraq,” according to the KRG Agriculture Minister.