Iraqi tomato farmers find it difficult to compete with imported goods

Some Iraqi markets are flooded with imported goods. In Kifri district, Diyala governorate, more than 100 farmers produce 20,000 tons of tomatoes annually. Although the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRG) has imposed a tax of 750,000 dinars ($512) per ton of imported tomatoes,  this has still not solved the problems and obstacles local farmers face.

“Those imported products that come from southern Iraq are competing with our products. We will not allow more than a ton of tomatoes at the checkpoints.” Star Ali, Garmiyan agriculture spokesman, said.

Last year, farmers in Sulaimani’s Penjwen district on the border with Iran took to the streets to protest cheap, illegal imports that are leaving them unable to sell their produce and accused the government of failing to secure a market for them. One farmer said that Penjwen’s tomatoes alone are enough to meet market needs across Iraq.


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