The autonomous Kurdistan Region has temporarily banned the import of tomatoes in support of local growers in the district of Penjwin, Sulaimani province. The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, has made clear that the import of tomatoes from Turkey and Iran, has accounted for a majority share of produce consumed in the Kurdistan Region in recent years. The ministry stressed that anyone attempting to smuggle banned produce into the Kurdistan Region ‘will be held responsible according to the law’.
A number of Penjwin farmers recently staged a demonstration to call for the measure, in order to support the selling of their product in local markets across the Kurdistan Region. The Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture announced in August that it would allow the import of tomatoes and cucumbers, due to low local yields.
Over the past few years, local farmers have called on the KRG to block the significant flow of foreign products that are already produced or grown domestically, lowering market prices to the point where it is difficult for them to make a living.