Ministry of Agriculture distributed 22, 600 tons of barley to stockmen.
By: N. M. Mohammad
Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources distributes barley to stockmen as a support at half of the market price. This year 22 thousand and 600 tons of barley have been distributed in two stages.
Abdulxaleq Abdulqader, Director of Animal Resources in Hewler said that the barley that has been dedicated this year for the stockmen is insufficient. He stated that due to this shortage they have not been able to give barley to those stockmen that also have cattle.
Mr. Abdulxaleq, also said that they make plans for fodder needs in accordance with the increasing number of animals every year. However, due to the budget deficit the Ministry can only provide 5 to 7 kilos of barley to each head of animal this year. This amount is quite inadequate because it covers the need for only few days but has a great impact on lowering the market prices of the fodder.
Faruq Ali, Director of Crop Production in the Ministry of Agriculture, who is responsible for buying barley from the farmers, announced that buying barley was done in two stages: in the first stage which was in September, 14,000 tons of barley were bought for farmers and in the second stage 8,600 were bought and distributed.
According to the Ministry’s statistics, there are more than 5 million and 743 thousand goats, sheep and cattle in Kurdistan. Mr. Faruq also said that the Ministry of Commercial Affairs of Iraq used to purchase the crops. However, last year Iraq gave this responsibility to the Ministry of Agriculture which in turn was not ready to provide for the Kurdish Region as well.
Stockmen say that the Ministry of Agriculture has provided 5 kilos and 500 grams of barley for each animal head at half the market price. However, the amount is very little. From November until March there are not green pastures. Fodder is given to the cattle and each one eats at least one kilo per day, therefore, they ask for at least lowering the market prices.
In Erbil Governorate,
the Ministry provides 7,100 tons for cattle while 62,000 tons are needed.
The Director of Animal Resources in Hewler said that at the moment due to the budget deficit the government cannot provide enough barley to the farmers. The government’s duties right now is to systemize the projects and to keep the market prices low. He also stated that the stockmen should depend on themselves at this stage. One solution that can help is for each stockman, who has 200 to 300 cattle, to plant 100 acres of barley and dedicate the production for their own cattle needs which is what the other governorates do.