Iraq sees 500,000 T wheat from Nineveh province in 2018


The province is expected to grow 2.2mln donhums of land with wheat

Iraq expects to produce 500,000 tonnes of wheat from Nineveh province in the 2018 season, a local official said on Wednesday.

The province is expected to grow 2.2 million donhums of land with wheat, Dreid Hekmat, director of agriculture of the province, said.

One Iraqi donhum is equal to 2,500 square metres.

Nineveh was Iraq's most productive farming region before the arrival of Islamic State, producing around 1.5 million tonnes of wheat a year, or about 21 percent of Iraq's total wheat output, and 32 percent of barley.

There have been no official figures for agricultural output in Nineveh during Islamic State rule because the government had no access to areas under jihadist control.

More production out of the province would ease Iraq's needs for imports.

The war-damaged country, a major importer of grains, consumes around 5 million tonnes of wheat a year.

Wheat is imported by the trade ministry for Iraq's food rationing programme which includes flour, rice, cooking oil, sugar and baby milk formula.

Iraq's deputy agriculture minister Mahdi al-Qaisi said earlier this month that the country's wheat and barley production this year could be 20 percent less than last year because of dry weather and lower river levels.

But on Tuesday he said the situation was looking better after recent rainfall.

"The crisis is not over, but its less intense now ... the rain that fell lately is a blessing from God," he said.


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