Farmers in the two districts of Daquq and Hawija of northern, oil-rich province of Kirkukare are thrilled with the opening of a state factory to receive and market maize from local farmers.
The state-owned factory, which was opened on Monday (December 23) in Daquq district, has a daily capacity of 700 tons of maize. It processes the crops into food and fodder at the same time.
"All farmers in the region will benefit from it, but the opening of this factory has been delayed. It should have been opened at the beginning of the maize ripening season, because then we took the crop to southern Iraq It all cost a lot,” said Mushal Mubarak, a farmer from Kirkuk, in front of the factory during its opening.
The factory should have been opened at the beginning of the maize ripening season
However, he thanked the Daquq Agriculture Department, saying the opening of the factory is a successful plan.
The opening of the factory, which will benefit farmers in Daquq, Hawija and other areas of Kirkuk, comes after that early December, the Farmers Union of Hawija district through KirkukNow warned of the possibility of losing 1,000 tons of maize due to rainfall and lack of warehouse for harvested corp.
The Union of Peasants in Hawija district, southwest of Kirkuk Governorate, warned of damage to thousands of tons of maize crop produced in the governorate due to the delay in receiving the harvested quantities by the government.
December is the ripening season for the maize crop, but with the first wave of rain, some farmers fear that their efforts will be lost, because moisture will harm the crop if it is not preserved in a dry place.
Video: Farmers of Daquq are pleased recently oepend Baraka state factory to purchase and process their corn product.
In Daquq, 7,700 hectares of land were planted this year with the corn crop as part of an agricultural plan. So far, the amount of corn produced in Daquq, which was sent to other provinces has reached 2,600 tons, especially to the southern governorates of Iraq, according to a source in the Daquq Department of Agriculture.
"This step is very good for farmers in the area. Previously, they had to take their products to the silos of the Taza sub-district or the southern provinces, which required a lot of expense," said Najat Mardan, a representative of the Daquq agriculture department.
However, he stressed that farmers would suffer and repeatedly protested against not receiving their products.
"From now on, farmers can bring their products to the factory and we will pay them at the government price," Mardan added.
The factory is the fifth in Iraq and has a daily capacity of processing 700 tons a day.
The government pays farmers 450,000 ($250) to 500,000 dinars per ton of maize, depending on the quality of the maize.
Kirkuk is one of the top governorates in the production of maize due to the fertility of its lands, which are suitable for the cultivation of this crop.
In 2021, 4,200 hectares of agricultural land were planted with maize and produced about 9,000 tons, but in 2022, over 7,000 hectares were planted with 18,000 tons of maize, according to the statistics of the Daquq Agriculture Department.
Earlier, Zuhair Ali, director of agriculture in Kirkuk, told KirkukNow that maize production in the province has reached 536,399 tons, on an area of 230,000 hectares, making Kirkuk the first in production among other Iraqi provinces.