Green grocery prices double for ban of import

A greengrocer in a popular bazaar of Kirkuk in 2017. Photo by Binar Sardar.


Prices for over 20 types of fruits and vegetables passed double in Kirkuk and the disputed territories due to ban of import from Iran and Turkey by Iraqi government’s ministry of agriculture in support of local farmers and their domestic products.

The decision effective from Early April aims at marketing local fruit and vegetables during its harvest in support of farmers in several Iraqi provinces in face of neighboring Iranian and Turkish imported products.

Ordinary people are disappointed that such a decision is not in their favors as local products cannot supply the market with its full demand leading to increase in prices.

Diyar Mohammed, resident of Shorija neighborhoods in Kirkuk said one KG of tomato, basic daily need of every household, is now for Iraqi Dinar IQD1,000 while in Qarahanjir subdistrict, under Kurdistan Regiona oGFovernmnet KRG, is for only IQD250.

“Such a decision is big burden for us.”

“Such a decision is big burden for us.”


Kirkuk secuirty checkpoints confiscate imported vegetables.

Kirkukis and wholesaler believe that it was too early for such a decision put valid ahead of several weeks or even a month for harvest of local products in Kirkuk and disputed territories.

Diler Mohammed, owner of greengrocery wholesale storage in Kirkuk’s Khan Khurma (Dates Warehouse) said currently only tomato in Basra is pumped into the markets. “This can not cover all Iraq thus price of tomato has gone up.

Mohammed said the case is the same for other products.

“Hence the order of Iraqi government covers 23 types of fruit and vegetable, we buy it for higher costs and we are obliged to sell it in a higher price to greengrocers and store owners and they in turn to people whom pay for it in double.”

The oil rich-city of Kirkuk, located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, is an ethnically mixed province for 1.2 million Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and Turkmen. It has long been at the center of disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil. 


Kirkuk, April 8th, 2021: Vegetable wholesale market of Kirkuk. Photo by Goran Baban. 

Checkpoints by security forces in Kirkuk with neighboring Kurdish cities under the KRG have destroyed tens of tons of vegetables and fruit imported from Turkey and Iran.

“They have spoiled three trucks causing over 8 million IQD ($5,500) damage to me,” Mohammed said.

KirkukNow has come to know that illegally products are smuggled into Kirkuk from Kurdish territories. Wholesalers confirmed that it is alternative to fill in the high demand.

In turn, the farmers hailed the step by authorities as they can market their products easily due to the high demand.

Hawraz Amin, 36, has 28 donums, about 70,000 square meters, in Hasar plains of Kirkuk. “If the decision is followed when our harvest is ready, it will be very useful for us but this decision has existed in the last years and never stopped import causing losses to us.”

“If the decision is followed when our harvest is ready, it will be very useful for us but this decision has existed in the last years and never stopped import causing losses to us.”

Security checkpoint confiscate eggplant, cucumber, squash and watermelon.

Local officials consider the step a boost for local agricultural production and blame the KRG for the loose procedures.

 “The decision is to serve farmers and sell their products. It is in the interest of all as Iraq is eager for self-dependence,” said Zuher Ali, director of agriculture in Kirkuk. “the KRG indifferent to the decision, imports Iranian and Turkish products then re-export it to Kirkuk, a big challenge for us.”

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