Economy, Domestic Economy

Gov’t Wheat Purchase Tops 7m Tons

Gov’t Wheat Purchase Tops 7m Tons Gov’t Wheat Purchase Tops 7m Tons

The government has purchased more than 7.45 million tons of wheat from local farmers since the beginning of the harvest season in late March, indicating a 23.2% increase compared with last year’s corresponding period.

Esmaeil Esfandiarpour, the official in charge of the “Wheat Project”—the government program to purchase the crop from farmers at a guaranteed price—put the value of purchased wheat at 92,400 billion rials ($2.63 billion at market exchange rate) and said 60% of the sum have been paid by the Agriculture Bank of Iran to farmers.

The government buys wheat from local farmers at guaranteed prices to build up its strategic reserves and control prices in the domestic market.

“Khuzestan with 1.39 million tons, Golestan with 1.25 million tons and Fars with 802,000 tons top the list of provinces from where the purchases have been made,” IRNA quoted Esfandiarpour as saying.

It is estimated that this year wheat production from six million hectares of irrigated and rainfed lands will rise from last year’s 11.5 million tons to more than 13 million tons, 10 million of which will be purchased by the government.

Iran was ranked 11th biggest producer of wheat worldwide in 2015 for the third consecutive year, according to a recent report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

In its latest report on Iran’s agriculture sector, the Business Monitor International estimates that Iran’s wheat production will reach 16 million by 2019/20, and that wheat yields are expected to improve owing to the modernization of technology, greater access to relevant inputs and a larger area of the country benefiting from new irrigation facilities.

Currently, 85% of domestic demand for wheat are met by local production. The government plans to achieve complete self-sufficiency in three years.