Farmer talks to 964media

Wasit: Good citrus season in Al-Suwaira, but bad market.

WASIT, January 26 — Al-Suwaira, a region in northern Wasit, has experienced a bountiful citrus production this year, attributed to favorable weather conditions and a lack of dust storms. However, local farmers express concerns over market challenges, as summarized in a local saying during an interview with 964media: “The trees responded, but the market disagreed.”

Younes Amjad Mubarak, a farmer from the area, described the season as very successful in terms of production. He mentioned that initially, oranges were sold at a thousand dinars but saw a decline in price to 250 dinars. This drop is attributed to the competition from imported citrus fruits. Mubarak highlighted a significant difference between local and imported oranges, pointing out that imported ones are often treated with a substance called Dexon. While Dexon increases fruit size, it leads to dryness with continued use.

Another concern raised by Mubarak is the prevalence of canker, a disease that affects both the fruit and the tree. This disease results in dry fruit and significantly reduces the tree’s yield. He also mentioned the insufficiency of pesticides provided by the Agriculture Department, forcing farmers to incur additional costs by purchasing more from the market. These challenges, combined with a decline in product value, have led to financial losses for local citrus producers in Al-Suwaira. Despite the abundant production, these market and agricultural challenges reflect the complexities facing farmers in Wasit.