TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Iranian government has announced its guaranteed purchase price for locally produced wheat for the upcoming harvest season ending in August as it seeks to encourage nearly one million wheat farmers to expand their cultivation area for the key crop.
Iran’s Minister of Agriculture Jihad Kazem Khavazi said on Tuesday that the government would guarantee to buy wheat from farmers at 50,000 rials ($0.28) per kilogram this season.
The price is double the rate used by the government for guaranteed purchase during the last harvest season, Khavazi told reporters as he defended his ministry’s policy on guaranteed purchase of strategic crops.
The minister said this year’s price would encourage farmers to expand area dedicated to wheat in the autumn cultivation season.
He described it as “the pillar of agriculture” in Iran, saying double increase in wheat price would encourage more farming of rice and sugarcane, the two other crops designated by the government as key to food security in Iran.
The Iranian government would buy up to 8.25 million tons from an expected output of 12 million tons of locally produced wheat this year, said Khavazi, adding that some 412.5 trillion rials ($1.725 billion) would be spent on the guaranteed purchase scheme, double the amount spent last year.
Wheat cultivation is responsible for nearly 80 percent of dry farming in Iran while the crop is also cultivated in a significant portion of irrigated lands across the country.
Khavazi said the government would continue to support local farmers in the years to come despite its policy to keep imports from Russia and other countries.
“Iranians receive some 42% of the protein they need from wheat which is a considerable figure,” he said.