Financial Tribune- The government has purchased 8.8 million tons of wheat worth 115 trillion rials ($2.95 billion) from local farmers across the country so far in the current crop year, Deputy Agriculture Minister Yazdan Seif said.
Every year, the government buys certain strategic crops, including wheat, from local farmers at guaranteed prices, to build up its strategic reserves and control prices in the domestic market.
Seif, who is also the head of the Government Trading Corporation, noted that despite low precipitation and the severe frost experienced last fall, wheat production has experienced growth compared with the corresponding period of last year, Mehr News Agency reported.
GTC is a government-owned company specialized in the purchase, import and distribution of essential foodstuff. It is the lever for enforcing market controls.
The company is also in charge of maintaining a supply of wheat, rice, cooking oil and meat, as the country’s strategic reserve of essential commodities.
Khuzestan, Golestan, Fars, Kermanshah and Kurdestan topped the list of provinces from where the purchases were made.
A record high of 14 million tons of wheat were domestically produced last year, more than 11.76 million tons of which worth over $4 billion were purchased by the government from local farmers at guaranteed prices.
This helped Iran achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production for the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic.
“It is estimated that this year too, about 11 million tons of the grain will be purchased and the self-sufficiency attained last year will endure in the current year,” former GTC managing director, Ali Qanbari, has said.