ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Tomato prices are rising in the Kurdistan Region after Iran banned exports.
In September, Iran banned tomato exports in a bid to counter sharp increases. With no tomatoes coming in from Iran, a gap has opened up in Kurdistan’s markets.
“Tomato imports from Iran are banned. Much of the product is exported to Iraqi provinces. It is not sufficient for Kurdistan Region and Iraq,” said a trader in an Erbil market.
Prices have doubled, from 1,000 dinars ($0.84) to 2,000 per kilo. In Basra, prices have reached 3,000 dinars per kilo.
Officials have taken steps to stabilize the market, removing taxes on imports with the hope the savings will be passed onto consumers.
Iraq’s Ministry of Agriculture has asked traders to increase imports from other countries.
Kurdistan’s farmers produced 83,000 tons of tomatoes last year. Another 87,000 tons were imported.
Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in many Kurdish and Iraqi dishes.