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Iraq plans to increase domestic wheat production by about 74 percent to 3 million metric tons by 2015, according to Saleh Hussein Jabur [Jabr], director general of state- owned Mesopotamia Seed Company.

Bloomberg reports that the government intends 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.

Iraq is one of the world’s biggest importers of wheat and rice, which are purchased by the government to supply the country’s 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; the country plans to import 3 million tons of wheat in 2012.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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