TEHRAN – On Saturday, a number of Iranian MPs criticized the government for buying wheat from farmers at a low price, saying it has encouraged Iraqi merchants to buy wheat from Iranian farmers at a higher price.
“Now, Iraqi dealers are buying wheat produced in the country at a price of 1200 tomans (12,000 rials or half a U.S. dollar),” three MPs said in separate messages to the president and the administration’s economic team.
The Agriculture Jihad Ministry purchases wheat from domestic producers at a price of 7000 rials per kilo.
The price set by the government will lead to the “destruction” of the agricultural industry, the MPs stated.
“Last year (March 2012-March 2013), we celebrated self-sufficiency in the production of wheat, while we imported six million tons,” said MP Ahmad Shohani, who represents the western city of Ilam.
If this trend continues this year, Iran will be forced to import 10 million tons of wheat instead of six million, he added.
MP Hamed Qaderi, who represents the city of Qorveh in Kordestan Province, said the government pays 12,000 to 13,000 rials for each kilogram of wheat that it imports while it pays 7000 rials per kilo for wheat produced domestically.
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