Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Sergey Dankvert met with Deputy Minister of Trade of the Republic of Iraq Jamil Ismail Haysem in Moscow on December 19. The representatives of the Grain Board of Iraq and the Embassy of Iraq in the Russian Federation also took part in the talks.
Jamil Ismail Haysem thanked the Rosselkhoznadzor for organizing the visit of the Iraqi delegation to Russia, the purpose of which is to familiarize with the system of state control over the quality and safety of exported grain, and to assess the possibility of purchasing Russian wheat. As part of the mission, the Iraqi delegation will get acquainted with the activities of the Rosselkhoznadzor subordinate All-Russian Plant Quarantine Center and the FGBI “Grain Quality Assessment Center”, visit the Russian elevators and evaluate the official control procedures for grain exports in Novorossiysk.
The Deputy Minister of Trade stressed that Russia is an Iraqi-friendly state and the Russian-Iraqi long-term cooperation is a top priority for the country. Iraq is interested in importing Russian grain, in particular, durum wheat for further processing into flour. In addition, the country aims at scientific and technical cooperation, exchange of experience and knowledge, implementation of investment projects. Thus, it was noted that after the hostilities the situation in Iraq has stabilized. The country pays great attention to the restoration of damaged infrastructure and the development of various branches of agriculture. In this regard, Iraq is interested in the participation of Russian companies in the construction of granaries and supplying specific modern equipment.
Jamil Ismail Haysem also proposed to set up a working group including the representatives of the Rosselkhoznadzor and the Grain Board of Iraq, within the framework of supporting a favorable business climate, organizing successful grain trading and operational information exchange.
Sergey Dankvert thanked the Iraqi side for the visit and said that the Rosselkhoznadzor would provide all possible assistance to the success of the mission. The delegations will be shown the country's export potential and mechanisms of state control over the fulfillment of the requirements of countries importing Russian grain and products thereof.
It was noted that in the 90s Russia was the world's largest importer of grain and annually purchased about 30 million tons of such products. However, in the last decade, the rise of the economy in general and agriculture in particular allowed the country not only to fully provide itself with grain, but also to become one of the world's largest exporters. At the end of the last agricultural year Russia exported more than 60 million tons of grain to 133 countries of the world. At the same time the country has the resources to significantly increase this volume through the involvement of unused agricultural lands.
Of course, such progress is ensured by enhanced work of the state in terms of ensuring the quality and safety of grain supplied to other countries in terms of strict compliance with the requirements of importing countries. All grain products shipped for export are subject to testing in state laboratories and are certified.
Regarding potential grain supplies to Iran, the Rosselkhoznadzor noted that it guarantees compliance with all necessary requirements. Russia may become Iraq’s reliable trading partner who is interested in long-term cooperation and highly appreciates the opportunities provided for exporting products to the country's food market.
Sergey Dankvert noted that Russia is committed to serious work and is ready to use the most optimal mechanisms for the safe export of grain to Iraq. In particular, it is planned to provide the right to supply wheat only to those exporters who will be able to ensure the efficient processing of grain in accordance with all the specific requirements of Iraq. The parties agreed to make mutual visits on a regular basis, which will help to carefully study approaches to the control of grain products.
The head of the Rosselkhoznadzor drew the attention of the Iraqi side to the fact that Russia, in its turn, is also interested in increasing the volume and expanding the range of products supplied from Iraq. In particular that concerns nuts and dates.
In the context of the development of scientific and technical cooperation it was noted that the Rosselkhoznadzor subordinate All-Russia Plant Quarantine Center has many years of experience in training international experts in the field of plant quarantine, implementing specially developed individual programs as part of advanced research on quarantine pests. In addition, the institute is engaged in risk assessment in the field of ensuring the safety of crop products supplied to Russia.
It was also noted that the Iraqi side might be interested in Russia's experience in the field of electronic certification of crop products, which allows it to track its movement across the country.
These capacities will be demonstrated in detail by the Iraqi delegation during the visit to the All-Russia Plant Quarantine Center.
The final meeting, which will summarize the preliminary results of the visit of the Iraqi delegation to Russia will be held in Moscow on Friday, December 21.