By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Minister of Trade Mohammed Hashim al-Ani announced July 5 that the ministry received about 4 million tons of local wheat, a step that signals the country is ready to achieve self-sufficiency in this strategic crop.

This comes despite the fires that hit agricultural fields across Iraq and ravaged 40,000 acres (16,000 hectares) of land.

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By John Lee.

Iraq’s Etihad Food Industries will reportedly start production at its new $100-million edible oils refinery in Babylon by the end of the year.

Commercial Director Haidar Alnoumany told Reuters that the company started building the infrastructure two months ago, and when in production it will source crude (edible) oil from many origins like Argentina, Ukraine, Russia and the United States.

The refinery will process corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, and palm oil, and aims to cover the needs of Iraq’s trade ministry (around 456,000 tonnes a year) and the domestic private market.

It will have a capacity of 3,000 tonnes a day with a refined oil storage capacity of 90,000 tonnes.

The plant is close to the company’s sugar refining plant, which started production last year and ramped up faster than expected, reducing the country’s dependence on white sugar imports.

(Source: Reuters)

(Cooking oil image via Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The new Etihad sugar refinery in Babylon said on Thursday it had imported 850,000 tonnes of raw sugar since the start of operations earlier this year, according to a report from Reuters.

The plant, which is currently operating close to full capacity of around 3,000 tonnes a day, will see expansion work start in 2017 to double capacity.

Mustafa Jaber, executive assistant for Etihad Food Industries, told the news agency that Iraq consumes around 900,000 tonnes of white sugar a year, “which means we are reaching self-sufficiency … [the expansion] will be to cater for increasing domestic consumption and for exports.”

(Source: Reuters)

(Sugar image via Shutterstock)

Trade confirm the existence of stocks strategically food is the country’s famine The Ministry of Commerce, on Wednesday, that the report Karbinge Institute of Peace inaccurate, pointing to the existence of large stocks strategically food is the country’s famine. The…

Trade confirm the existence of stocks strategically food is the country’s famine The Ministry of Commerce, on Wednesday, that the report Karbinge Institute of Peace inaccurate, pointing to the existence of large stocks strategically food is the country’s famine. The…

By John Lee.

The general manager of the Grain Board of Iraq, Saad al Hamdinee, has reportedly told a conference in London that Iraq is expected to produce 3.5 million tonnes of wheat this year.

According to a report from Reuters, he said this was in accordance to our plans put in place over the last two years to improve the country’s self sufficiency.

Bloomberg reports that Iraq is in talks with international inspection companies about the classification of locally grown wheat for sale overseas, as it intends to become a net exporter of wheat by 2017.

No details were provided about how it plans to achieve this increase; Iraq currently consumes 4.5-to-4.6 million tonnes of wheat a year, and has lost about 1.7 million tonnes/year of capacity to the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL).

(Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg)

(Wheat image via Shutterstock)

 

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Let Them Eat Bread: ISIS Extremists In Mosul Iraq Ban Grain Exports, Ensure Food Security

The northern Iraqi province of Ninawa is one of the country’s best producers of cereals and grains. And now the extremist group known as the Islamic State is making good use of the province’s potential; the Islamic State, or IS, group has been in control of large parts of the province since last June, including the provincial capital, Mosul.

The extremist group has issued instructions to local farmers that they should give 10 percent of their total production to the IS group. The IS group classify this payment as a kind of religious tax they describe as “zakat”, a payment that was traditionally a sort of combination donation and tax made to the church.

This is why now, whenever local farmers are involved in harvesting, a member of the IS group or what locals describe as one of the IS group’s “ghosts”, or spies, is present to ensure that the correct percentage of harvest is set aside.

“When there is nobody there, the collection of the IS group’s share is the responsibility of the combine drivers,” Ahmed al-Fattah*, a member of a family that has been farming in this area for decades, told NIQASH. “And the shadow of the IS group is always hanging over us so we don’t trust anyone. That’s why paying a share to the IS group is unavoidable.”

By John Lee.

At a meeting of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Council of Ministers (pictured), the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Abdul-Sattar Majid, presented the plans of his ministry to improve the agriculture sector, and outlined the challenges that face the agriculture sector in the Kurdistan Region.

The ministry’s ultimate goal, which is guaranteeing food and water security, was also discussed.

According to the report of the KRG Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, there has been clear increase in agricultural production, compared to the past years. He pointed out that some products’ production has reached a level above the internal demand, such as potato with 153% increase, and wheat with 103% increase. Other products, like chicken egg, with 95% increase, and vegetables with 93% increase, have reached close to the level of internal demand.

KRG Council of Ministers also decided to hold a special meeting, to be attended also by the Kurdistan Region governors, to discuss the abuse of agricultural lands that have been used for other purposes than agriculture.

Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed that all the ministries should take serious steps toward reform, cut their expenses and increase their incomes, and expressed the full support of the presidency of the Council of Ministers to all the ministries in this regard.

Regarding the reactions to the KRG decision to relocated all the Islamic studies under the supervision and authority of both the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Council of Ministers maintained its decision, emphasizing that it was taken by KRG in agreement with all the ministries and parties.

(Source: KRG)

By John Lee.

At a meeting of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Council of Ministers (pictured), the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Abdul-Sattar Majid, presented the plans of his ministry to improve the agriculture sector, and outlined the challenges that face the agriculture sector in the Kurdistan Region.

The ministry’s ultimate goal, which is guaranteeing food and water security, was also discussed.

According to the report of the KRG Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, there has been clear increase in agricultural production, compared to the past years. He pointed out that some products’ production has reached a level above the internal demand, such as potato with 153% increase, and wheat with 103% increase. Other products, like chicken egg, with 95% increase, and vegetables with 93% increase, have reached close to the level of internal demand.

KRG Council of Ministers also decided to hold a special meeting, to be attended also by the Kurdistan Region governors, to discuss the abuse of agricultural lands that have been used for other purposes than agriculture.

Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed that all the ministries should take serious steps toward reform, cut their expenses and increase their incomes, and expressed the full support of the presidency of the Council of Ministers to all the ministries in this regard.

Regarding the reactions to the KRG decision to relocated all the Islamic studies under the supervision and authority of both the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Council of Ministers maintained its decision, emphasizing that it was taken by KRG in agreement with all the ministries and parties.

(Source: KRG)

By John Lee.

At a meeting of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Council of Ministers (pictured), the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Abdul-Sattar Majid, presented the plans of his ministry to improve the agriculture sector, and outlined the challenges that face the agriculture sector in the Kurdistan Region.

The ministry’s ultimate goal, which is guaranteeing food and water security, was also discussed.

According to the report of the KRG Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, there has been clear increase in agricultural production, compared to the past years. He pointed out that some products’ production has reached a level above the internal demand, such as potato with 153% increase, and wheat with 103% increase. Other products, like chicken egg, with 95% increase, and vegetables with 93% increase, have reached close to the level of internal demand.

KRG Council of Ministers also decided to hold a special meeting, to be attended also by the Kurdistan Region governors, to discuss the abuse of agricultural lands that have been used for other purposes than agriculture.

Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed that all the ministries should take serious steps toward reform, cut their expenses and increase their incomes, and expressed the full support of the presidency of the Council of Ministers to all the ministries in this regard.

Regarding the reactions to the KRG decision to relocated all the Islamic studies under the supervision and authority of both the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Council of Ministers maintained its decision, emphasizing that it was taken by KRG in agreement with all the ministries and parties.

(Source: KRG)