Iraq has recaptured territory seized by the breakaway al Qaeda group, Islamic State, regaining some grain silos and grain facilities, however, the bulk of the grain and infrastructure has been destroyed by the group upon its retreat.
Islamic State declared an Islamic caliphate across Syria and Iraq last summer taking control of Iraq’s most fertile crop producing regions responsible for the majority of the country’s wheat output. However, the Iraqi government has been successful in re-taking control of grain assets in al-Alam, which produces 60,000 tons per year, and at the city of Samarra, which produces 120,000 tons of grain per year.
Although the silos have been destroyed, Iraqi authorities state that the government aims to salvage and restore the facilities where possible.
There is no hard data on the exact amount of grain Islamic State has under its control, but Saad el Hamdinee, general manager of Grain Board of Iraq, states that the country is expected to produce 3.5 million tons of wheat this year and import 1 million tons to blend with its domestic production. However, these estimates are based solely on the territory under Iraqi control.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.