Economy

Sinjar Silo relaunch to boost Ninawa agriculture, officials say

By Alaa Hussein in Baghdad

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Sinjar Silo relaunch ceremony, attended June 19th by a large number of Iraqi government officials. [Photo courtesy of Sinjar mayor's Facebook page]

Nearly six years after it was destroyed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), Sinjar Silo was reactivated by the Iraqi Ministry of Trade on June 19th.

The Silo, one of Ninawa province's largest for storing and marketing grains, serves vast areas of agricultural land in western parts of the province.

Qassem Hammoud Mansour, director general of the trade ministry's Food Trade department, said rehabilitating Sinjar Silo would boost the region's agricultural sector and help enhance marketing campaigns for various cereal crops produced in the province.

'Sinjar on stabilisation path'

The Ministry of Trade has 10 restoration projects in Sinjar, to include the silo. Other parts of the projects are reconstructing a dispensary, a water purification complex, a power plant and the city's schools.

The total sum allocated to the city's revamping operations is 443 million Iraqi dinars ($370,000), 98 million dinars ($82,000) of which has been spent on Sinjar Silo thus far.

Mansour told Diyaruna the silo would serve agricultural lands growing strategic crops in northern Iraq's Sinjar Plain, as well as its surrounding areas, providing business owners with nearby marketing outlets to facilitate product promotion.

He lauded the efforts of Iraqi security services and other government agencies to secure the region.

These agencies continue to support the reconstruction process through improved security and investment, which has a positive impact on the province's overall economic and social circumstances, he said.

Abdul Wahab Ibrahim, a Ninawa trade ministry official, told Diyaruna the reconstruction projects are designed to restore stability in Sinjar and encourage internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their cities and villages.

Sinjar Silo vibrant after six years

Sinjar Silo has resumed operations at a 50,000-tonne capacity, and intends to return to its full 80,000-tonne operating capacity, Talib Abbas Hassan, an official at the Ministry of Trade's Grain Trade department, told Diyaruna.

Like Mansour, Hassan noted signs of the relaunch's positive impact on western Ninawa's agricultural sector. The effect is especially noticeable on Sinjar's agriculture as it has contributed substantial amounts of food to the entire province in recent years.

The silo will be ready to receive new crops at the start of the harvest season, Ibrahim said.

Local farmers will be permitted to haul their crops to Sinjar, which would, for the first time in six years, save them the trouble of commuting to the farther grain silo in Tal Afar.

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