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The representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Salah Al-Hajj, announced that global grain prices rose by 45% compared to last year, adding that Iraq will not face a food crisis this year (2022 ).
Salah Al-Hajj, revealed that the drought led to the displacement of a thousand families in southern Iraq, stressing the need for Iraq to have a strategic plan to deal with climate change .
He added that "Iraq has 3 million tons of wheat, while its need is 5 million tons, and bought sufficient quantities until the end of the year approximately," noting that "the grains are available in global markets, but there is an increase in prices of up to 45% compared to last year, for many Among the reasons are the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the Corona pandemic, and the rise in energy prices, which is reflected in a rise in shipping costs, and thus is directly reflected in prices .”
He added that "there is a relative decrease in grain prices between the months of May and June, ranging between 2-4%, but it remains higher compared to last year ."
Regarding the possibility of increasing wheat production in Iraq, Al-Hajj pointed out that “there is a possibility to increase wheat production locally to reach self-sufficiency, and the numbers of the previous year and the one that preceded it are an example of that,” adding that “Iraq produced more than 5.5 million tons of wheat if we go back to two years ago.” 2019 and 2020, which is more than the country's annual consumption needs .
The representative of the FAO confirmed that the increase in production is related to climatic changes and the quantities of water available, noting that "most of Iraq's production of wheat relied on irrigation because of the lack of sufficient rainfall and at the required times ."
" Unfortunately, Iraq has been classified as one of the five countries most affected by climate change," according to Al-Hajj, who pointed out, for example, to the water shortage and deterioration in living conditions in the marshes .
Al-Hajj noted that “climate change is no longer a theory but a reality, and it must be dealt with from the standpoint of direct intervention and the preparation of medium and long-term plans,” revealing that “FAO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and with the support of the European Union, provided assistance to between 5 and 6 thousand people Buffalo breeders in the marshlands, through emergency support of feed and other materials that help withstand and endurance during this difficult period .”
He pointed out that the organization "is raising awareness about food waste, as large quantities of food are wasted on a daily basis, affecting prices, and therefore there is a responsibility that must be paid attention to . "
The organization had revealed earlier, that there are about 4.7 million tons of food wasted annually in Iraq, and that it amounts to about 120 kilograms per person.
Added 07/28/2022 - 2:42 PM
Update 07/28/2022 - 3:09 PM