29 Jun 2022 09:34

Georgia bans wheat, barley exports for a year

TBILISI. June 29 (Interfax) - The Georgian government has decided to ban exports of wheat and barley grown in the country effective July 4 in order to avoid an increase in shortages on the domestic market, Agriculture Minister Otar Shamugia told reporters on Tuesday.

The ban will be in effect for a year, until July 4, 2023, Shamugia said.

Georgia did not export wheat in any case, but it does export barley. Up to 2,500 tonnes of this grain has been exported to Iran and Iraq since the beginning of 2022, the minister said.

Georgia has been growing about 130,000 tonnes of wheat annually in recent years, including more than 136,000 tonnes in 2021, but this only covers 15-20% of domestic demand. The country therefore imports grain, particularly wheat, from other countries, with 85-90% coming from Russia.

Due to the high duty on wheat exports from Russia, Georgia imported far less of this grain in 2021, but significantly increased imports of wheat flour.

The Agriculture Ministry expects Georgia to harvest about 60,000 tonnes of barley this year. It aims to bring the wheat harvest up to 50% of the country's needs, or about 600,000-650,000 tonnes.