Iraq to Raise Wheat Output by 74% by 2015, State Company Says

Iraq will increase local wheat production by about 74 percent to 3 million metric tons by 2015, according to Saleh Hussein Jabur, director general of state- owned Mesopotamia Seed Co.

The government plans to triple the annual quantity of wheat seed that it buys from local farmers to 180,000 tons in 2015 from 60,000 tons now, he said in an interview in Baghdad today.

Iraq is one of the world’s biggest importers of wheat and rice, purchased by the government to supply a food rationing program. Soil salinity, poor irrigation and a drought in the last three years combined to make the country a buyer on world markets.

Iraq consumes about 4.5 million tons of wheat a year and local production for the 2010-11 season was about 1.73 million tons, Hassan Ismail Ibrahim, director general of Iraq’s Grain Board, said Nov. 29. The country plans to import 3 million tons of wheat in 2012, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khalid Al-Ansary in Baghdad, through the Dubai newsroom at kalansary@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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