Iranian official: Government owes $92 million to wheat farmers

Business Materials 23 September 2013 14:07 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sep.23/ Trend F.Karimov/

The state commercial company of Iran owes 2.3 trillion rials (about $92 million) to wheat farmers, ISNA quoted Iranian Deputy Industry Minister Abbas Qobadi as saying.

To date one trillion rials of the government's debts to farmers has been settled and 2.3 trillion rials is still to be paid, he added.

Some 4.7 million tons of wheat has so far been purchased from farmers, he said.

Iran's agriculture ministry has set up a special committee to address issues relating to this strategic product, the Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday.

Considering the important status of wheat in the nation's food security and its great role in the entire agriculture sector, a special committee has been set up to address issues relating to wheat, the report said.

Earlier this month, Iran's administration increased a guaranteed purchase price of wheat from farmers from 8000 rials to 10500 rials per kilogramme which is about $0.42 based on the official rate of 24,744 rials per each dollar, Iranian government speaker Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said, ISNA news agency reported.

He went on to note that each kilogramme of imported wheat costs about 8500 rials for administration, adding that the government intends to take advantage of available opportunities to increase domestic wheat production.

On July 5, Fars News Agency quoted Iranian Deputy Agriculture Minister Jasem Saedi as saying that each kilogramme of wheat costs over 8500 rials for farmers.

The State Commerce Company imports wheat at $360-370 (8.9-9.1 million rials) per ton or 11,000 to 12,000 rials per kilogramme.

Iran's wheat imports decreased by 60 per cent in the first four months of the current solar year started in March 21. The country imported some 963,000 tons of wheat in the period.

The imported wheat was valued at $400 million. Switzerland, Great Britain, and Turkey were the main exporters of wheat to Iran.

Iran imported 6.5 million tons of wheat worth $2.5 billion during the last solar year.

The country plans to produce 12 million tons of wheat by the end of the current solar year (March 20, 2014), Deputy Agriculture Minister Nasser Tavakoli said on Tuesday.

"Iran also plans to provide 300,000 tons of wheat seed for next year," the ISNA News Agency quoted Tavakoli as saying.