Grain stor­age ca­pac­ity to ex­ceed a mil­lion tons by 2020

KRG im­ple­ments food se­cu­rity strate­gies

The Kurdish Globe - - NATIONAL -

Ac­cord­ing to the strate­gic plan of the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Water Re­sources of Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government (KRG) within the coming seven years Er­bil Province will own eight grain stor­age si­los with a ca­pac­ity of 400,000 tons, Sile­mani will have six si­los with a com­bined ca­pac­ity of 280,000 tons of grains, while Duhok Province will have three si­los that can store 120 thou­sand tons of grain.

This means that by 2020 Kur­dis­tan Re­gion will have a ca­pac­ity of stor­ing 1 mil­lion tons of grain.

One of the key points in food se­cu­rity, ac­cord­ing to the Strate­gic Plan of the Agri­cul­ture Min­istry, in ad­di­tion to food pro­duc­tion, is stor­ing strate­gic food sup­plies.

Ac­cord­ing to Swar Aziz, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Plan­ning and Fol­lowUp at the Agri­cul­ture Min­istry, such food­stuff have a vi­tal role in sup­ply­ing daily food and dur­ing cri­sis times or nat­u­ral ac­ci­dents, can save the peo­ple from dis­as­ter. “In Kur­dis­tan, wheat, bar­ley and rice are counted as strate­gic food items,” Aziz told the Globe. “Hence stor­ing them is a re­spon­si­bil­ity of the government as set forth in the strate­gic plan of the Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try.”

Ma­jor­ity of the agri­cul­tural lands all over the Re­gion are ded­i­cated to plant­ing wheat and bar­ley ev­ery year. The pro­duc­tion rate of th­ese grains vary based on the amount of rain­ing and weather sit­u­a­tions. What has been re­al­ized over the past few years is that Kur­dis­tan Re­gion does not have enough ca­pac­ity in stor­ing the en­tire grain pro­duc­tion in the re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to the plan, the cur­rent an­nual de­mand for grains in Kur­dis­tan is 600 thou­sand tons, while the stor­age ca­pac­ity of the re­gion is only 275 thou­sand tons. The plan pre­dicts that the ca­pac­ity would grow to reach 675 thou­sand tons by 2014. More­over, ac­cord­ing to the plans of the min­istry of trade and in­dus­try 11 new si­los should be built be­tween the years 2015 and 2020.

If all th­ese si­los are built, the to­tal stor­age ca­pac­ity will reach 1,115,000 tons by the end of 2020.

In ad­di­tion to wheat de­mand, the re­gion’s an­nual de­mand for rice and barely is cur­rently 300 thou­sand tons, which is sup­plied ei­ther through im­ports or pro­duc­tion. To be able to store amounts for at least six months, the government should build ware­houses with suf­fi­cient ca­pac­i­ties.

The ex­ist­ing si­los in Er­bil are two si­los with a com­bined ca­pac­ity of 160 thou­sand tons by end of 2013; while Duhok’s three si­los can only store 115 thou­sand tons. Hence the to­tal ca­pac­ity is 275 thou­sand tons. How­ever, cur­rently there are no si­los in Sile­mani Province.

Three silo projects have been ap­proved last year for Sile­mani with a to­tal ca­pac­ity of 160 thou­sand tons, an­other two si­los in Garmian with 80 thou­sand ton ca­pac­ity. More­over, two si­los will also be built in Er­bil and Duhok with ca­pac­ity of 40 thou­sand tons each.

Hence the to­tal pro­jected added ca­pac­ity will be 320 thou­sand tons. The other si­los to be built be­tween 2015 and 2020 in­clude 4 in Er­bil, 2 in Suleimaniya, 2 in Garmian and 3 in Duhok with 40 thou­sand ton ca­pac­ity each. This will add an­other 440 thou­sand tons ca­pac­ity by end of 2020 ac­cord­ing to the strate­gic plan. It means that in ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing si­los the KRG should al­lo­cate funds for the new silo projects.

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