IRAN — The Iranian government has successfully purchased approximately 6.3 million tons of wheat worth over US$2.22 billion from local farmers since April, a senior official from the Agriculture Ministry has said.

This initiative is part of a national plan to guarantee the purchase of domestically produced wheat, ensuring stability and support for Iranian farmers.

Sohrab Sohrabi, the Agriculture Ministry’s Wheat Project manager, highlighted that this year’s purchase reflects a 10% increase from the same period last year, when the government acquired 5.741 million tons of wheat.

“This significant increase underscores our commitment to supporting local agriculture and securing our food supply,” Sohrabi stated.

The southwestern province of Khuzestan has been the leading contributor, supplying 1.62 million tons of wheat. Other significant contributors include the provinces of Golestan, Fars, and Ilam, which ranked second to fourth, respectively.

Despite the substantial purchases, the government has so far paid only half of the required amount, disbursing over US$1.05 million to farmers.

Sohrabi, however, assured that the remaining payments would be completed promptly to maintain farmers’ trust and cooperation.

Projections estimate that Iran will harvest between 14.5 and 15.5 million tons of wheat from both irrigated and rainfed fields by the end of the crop year. This amount is expected to meet the country’s domestic needs entirely.

Wheat production in Iran saw a 6% increase in 2023, placing the country 14th among the world’s top wheat producers, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

 Iranian farmers produced 14 million tons of wheat in 2023, up from 13.2 million tons the previous year. The USDA predicts that this production level will remain stable in 2024.

Globally, while total wheat production decreased by seven million tons to 782 million tons, Iran managed to increase its output, surpassing countries like Brazil and Egypt in production volume.

The government purchased 10.4 million tons of wheat from farmers last year, and this figure is expected to reach 10.5 million tons this year.

Given the annual domestic requirement of 12 million tons, Iran is on track to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production within a few years, according to Sohrabi.

Wheat, being a staple in Iran, is purchased by the government each crop year to build reserves and ensure a steady market supply.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that Iran produced over 21 million tons of grain in the 2023 crop year, holding the fourth-largest grain reserves in Asia. The FAO’s “Outlook of Food Products and Situation” report indicated a more than 2% increase in grain production compared to the previous year.

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