The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock denied Tehran’s claim that Afghanistan trafficked wheat from Iran. The ministry said Afghanistan imports its wheat and flour from the Central Asia states and that there is no need to traffic the wheat from Iran.
According to the Iranian media, Mohammad Ghorbani, Deputy Ministry of Agricultural Jihad for Economic and Planning Affairs of Iran. expressed concerns over the trafficking of wheat from Iran to neighboring countries.
“Every-year, there is wheat trafficking—it means it is being trafficked to the neighboring countries through various paths. The price of each sack of wheat is 38,000 (Iranian toman) but it is sold for 800,000 toman along the borders,” he said.
But a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Musbahuddin Mostayeen, said that Afghanistan imports the wheat legally from the Central Asian countries.
“There is no need for us to bring wheat from a neighboring country. We import it legally to the country,” he said.
This comes amid a drought in Afghanistan and a predicted drop in crop yield.
The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that imports of wheat will increase from the Central Asia nations to meet the demands in the market.
According to the ACCI, more than 10,000 tons of wheat are imported on a daily basis through Aqina and Hairatan ports.
“The traders and investors have made preparations and we will purchase 95 to 99 percent of our wheat from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia,” said Khanjan Alokozai, a member of the ACCI.
Russia and Ukraine are considered the main producers of wheat in the world. Economists believe that the ongoing tensions between the two countries will severely affect the price of wheat in the world.
Based on available figures, Afghanistan produces between four to five million tons of wheat annually, but last year the products dropped by one million tons, and a further drop in wheat is expected in the country this year as well.