Iran Gov't Halfway Through Guaranteed Wheat Purchase
EghtesadOnline: A total of 6 million tons of wheat worth 140 quadrillion rials ($577.32 million) have been purchased from local farmers in all 31 Iranian provinces in the current fiscal year (started March 20), a deputy minister of industries, mining and trade.
“The volume of purchased wheat shows a 12% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year,” Yazdan Seif, who doubles as the head of the Government Trading Corporation of Iran, was also quoted as saying by Mizan Online.
The government has purchased 56.19% of the wheat it had planned to buy as part of its guaranteed purchase plan this year.
Every year, the government buys strategic crops, including wheat, sugarbeet, tea, barley, cotton boll and oilseeds, from local farmers at guaranteed prices to control prices in the domestic market and fill its strategic reserves.
Affiliated to Agriculture Ministry, GTC is the official government body in charge of guaranteed wheat purchase.
Wheat harvest started in Iran on April 4 in southern Iran where the weather is warm and dry. A ceremony was held in Bushehr Province’s Dayyer County on that day to celebrate what is estimated to be a bountiful yield.
Esmaeil Esfandiarpour, the official in charge of the “Wheat Project”—the government program to purchase the crop from farmers at a guaranteed price—who was present at the event said yields are going to be high due to high levels of precipitation this year.
The official noted that the government aims to buy 10.5 million tons of the grain from farmers across the country.
Noting that close to 2 million hectares of wheat farms (one-third) in Iran are irrigated and 4.05 million hectares (two-thirds) are rain-fed, Esfandiyarpour said, “Wheat farms grown under rainwater harvesting treatment give the best grain yields compared to their irrigated counterpart.”
Fars Province, for example, received precipitation twice as much as last year, hence farmers are anticipating an abundant wheat crop. The province has received 400 millimeters of rain on average this year over last year’s 251 millimeters. Rainfalls this year reduced salinization of soil [the increase of salt concentration in soil] resulted from 20 years of droughts, strengthening the prospects of higher production in arid areas.
Farmers say the lushness of the rain-fed wheat produced this year is similar to crops grown with irrigation systems.
Ataollah Hashemi, the head of National Wheat Farmers Foundation, told Mehr News Agency at the time that this year’s wheat production will hit 14 million tons that are sure to meet the entire domestic demand.
Some 14 million tons of the crop are estimated to have been produced in the last Iranian year (March 2019-20), of which only around 8.8 million tons were purchased by the government.
A total of 12.7 million tons of wheat were produced on more than 6.5 million hectares of farmland across the country in the fiscal 2018-19, according to a new report released by the Statistical Center of Iran reads.
The report added that around 11,700 tons of the staple grain were imported during the period while exports hit 189,000 tons.
SCI put domestic demand for wheat at 10.4 million tons in the fiscal 2018-19.
The report also shows close to 1.5 million tons of wheat was used as animal feed that year.
According to CEO of the National Foundation of Elite Farmers Ali Khan-Mohammadi, domestic demand for this staple grain in Iran currently amounts to 12 million tons per year.