Economy, Domestic Economy

Gov’t Wheat Purchases Up 18%

Gov’t Wheat Purchases Up 18%Gov’t Wheat Purchases Up 18%

The Agricultural Jihad Ministry has bought 5.22 million tons of wheat worth 64,400 billion rials ($1.84 billion at market exchange rate) from local farmers so far in the current Iranian year (March 2016-17). Esmaeil Esfandiarpour, the official in charge of the so-called “Wheat Project”—the government program to purchase the crop from farmers at a guaranteed price—added that the purchase marks an 18% rise compared to last year’s corresponding period.  About 68% or 42,870 billion rials ($1.22 billion) of the sum have been paid by the Agriculture Bank of Iran, IRNA reported. Khuzestan with 1.38 million tons, Golestan with 1.16 million tons and Fars with 705,000 tons top the list of provinces from where the purchases have been made. The government pays 12,705 rials (around 36 cents) for each kilogram of common wheat and 13,068 rials (around 37 cents) for durum wheat. Last Iranian year (March 2015-16), close to 11.5 million tons of wheat were produced across the country, 8.08 million tons of which were purchased by the Government Trading Organization of Iran. It is estimated that this year production of the crop from six million hectares of irrigated and rain-fed lands will rise to more than 13 million tons.  Currently, 85% of domestic demand for wheat are met by domestic production. The government plans to achieve complete self-sufficiency in three years.