A Tuesday statement from the Government Trading Corporation (GTC) said the volume of wheat purchased from domestic farmers since the start of harvest in April had increased by 43% compared to the same period last year.
GTC’s CEO Saeid Raad, a deputy agriculture minister, said the value of wheat purchased over the period had reached 1,500 trillion rials (over $3 billion).
The major rise in the domestic supply of wheat in Iran comes months after the country decided to increase its purchase price for the grain amid concerns that the war in Ukraine may impact global markets and affect imports.
The policy was also meant to boost Iran’s wheat inventories and help domestic farmers offset losses suffered in recent years because of inflation.
Raad said the government had made payments to almost half of the wheat farmers in Iran under its guaranteed purchase mechanism which offers 150,000 rials ($0.3) for each kilogram of wheat supplied to government silos.
Head of Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization Davoud Manzour had said in May that the government could have opted for imports of wheat at a price of 110,000 rials per kilogram this year but it decided to support the country’s efforts for reaching self-sufficiency in wheat crop.
The GTC said it will continue to buy wheat in western and northwestern provinces of Iran where harvest normally begins later in the summer due to colder climate conditions.
Estimates suggest that total wheat output in Iran could reach 14.5 million mt this year, up from 13.2 million mt reported in 2022.