A government ban on imports of vegetables has led to steep hikes in vegetable prices in the country.
The government has issued a list of vegetables which cannot be imported in a bid to encourage farmers.
Prices of items not included in the list are stable.
A kilogram of tomatoes, a staple for Iraqi cuisine, has skyrocketed to about 1,250 dinars from nearly 500. Cucumbers have surged to 1, 000 dinars from 500.
A dollar is worth 1,250 dinars. The new rates will put the two items beyond the reach of many families since average government salaries range between $200-300.
There are fears that Iraqi farmers may not be able to meet domestic demand for the banned vegetables as water shortages make it increasingly difficult to expand the cultivated area.
Iraq relies on imports for most of its food needs, including fruits and vegetables.
The country’s food import bill is in billions of dollars every year.
( Azzaman )