Gov’t to import 3m tons of wheat to refill strategic reserves

Financial Tribune – The government’s wheat purchases from local farmers have declined by 3 million tons this year, which will be imported to replenish its strategic reserves, the deputy head of the National Wheat Farmers Empowerment Foundation said.

“The decline in purchases does not indicate a decline in production. There is good evidence that farmers have stored the wheat they didn’t sell to the government. Yet, the decision [to import wheat] has been made since the government wants to ensure there is enough bread to meet domestic demand. If farmers deliver their stored wheat to state purchase centers, the need for imports will be eliminated,” Aliqoli Imani was also quoted as saying by the Young Journalists Club.

He said that the government will need around 80 trillion rials ($709 million) to import this volume of wheat and suggested that this money can be used to make domestic purchases instead.

“This way, local farmers will benefit and the sum put away for imports can be used for domestic production,” he said.

Iran has been self sufficient in supplying its domestic demand for wheat since 2016.

A record high of 14 million tons of wheat were domestically produced in 2016, more than 11.76 million tons of which worth over $4 billion were purchased by the government from local farmers at guaranteed prices.