Ban in effect until further notice
KRG bans imports of tomatoes in favors of Iraqi produce
ERBIL, January 22 — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has banned imports of tomatoes until further notice, in support of farmers in the central and southern regions of Iraq.
The decision is a reciprocal move in response to a previous ban imposed by the federal government that aimed to support farmers in the Kurdistan Region.
Baghdad and Erbil have both deployed protectionist trade policies in the past, especially in the food and agricultural sectors.
The KRG’s Department of Media and Information issued a statement, which said:
The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government has decided to ban the import of tomatoes to protect local harvests this season and to strengthen farmers markets.
The goal of coordination between the two parties is to protect the production of Iraqi tomatoes. In the framework of both sides working in tandem, the aim is to protect each other’s agricultural products. When local products of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq are marketed, the import of foreign products is prohibited.
The [KRG] Minister of Agriculture said in a statement: ‘Just as the Iraqi government banned the import of foreign tomatoes to protect and market the products of farmers in the region in Penjwen, Haji Omaran, and other parts, and to continue the tradition of coordination and cooperation, the markets of the Kurdistan Region open their doors to products of farmers from central and southern Iraq. We have thus also decided to ban the import of tomatoes from abroad, starting from January 21 until further notice.