Posted on July 30, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Economy, Economy, Trading
Sulaimani’s downtown market, Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo: Rudaw
HEWLÊR-Erbil, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— As part of enforcing a new plan to boost local agriculture the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG has now added Iraq to the list of countries that no agricultural products must be imported from, and that it is after businessmen had started to use the Iraq route to get around import regulations.
According to Hussein Haji, a Kurdish salesman in Soran city, traders and suppliers took their Iranian and Turkish products to Iraq and from there brought them into the Kurdistan Region to avoid the ban list and high tariffs.
Most of the products are fruits and vegetables, Haji said.
For three years the Kurdish government has banned the import of certain products especially during harvesting season in order to help local agriculture while imposing heavy tariffs on other products to make local production more appealing to the customer.
According to Anawar Omar, a spokesperson for the Kurdish agriculture ministry Iraqi products are allowed into the Kurdistan Region if the traders can prove its is local product.
“The ministry law is that all products coming from Iraq and are not Iraqi are banned,” Omar told Rudaw. “Only products will be allowed to come in where the farmers are licensed and have official documents showing it is their products.”
To find alternative sources of income in light of declining oil prices the Kurdish government has taken steps to revive its old agricultural sector with incentives to farmers and and tougher regulations on imports from neighboring countries.