Exclusive: ministry completes investigations into a corrupt fertilizer deal uncovered by Shafaq News

Exclusive: ministry completes investigations into a corrupt fertilizer deal uncovered by Shafaq News

Shafaq News/ In August 2022, British company AAA Holding began fertilizer production in Basra with Iraq's Southern Fertilizer Public Company. The joint venture announced a new DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) fertilizer project had come online in Basra with an annual capacity of 500,000 tonnes.

Fertilizer prices have soared to new highs due to Russia's war in Ukraine, with the "big three" — phosphates, nitrates, and potassium fertilisers — on average doubling since last year, reaching levels not seen since the 2008 commodity boom.

The latest increase, caused in part by a disruption of supplies from Russia and surging input costs, was an opportunity that Iraq could capitalize on.

However, Iraq, once again, is missing the opportunity for the endemic corruption infesting the country in another controversial scandal.

"These fertilizers arrive in packages in Iraq from Morocco or Turkey," a source told Shafaq News Agency, "the plant inaugurated by the ministry, in cooperation with a foreign investor, does not produce the DAP fertilizer."

"Instead, the imported material is poorly packed on a very poor Chinese production line installed in the plant," the source added, "the plant is a huge scam. There is no actual production line. It is a huge theft covered by the government and approved by the ministries of industry and agriculture."

"The recently imported DAP batch amounts to nearly 50,000 tonnes. Each yields 200$; the government's share is only 5%. The remaining 95% is reaped by the investor. The net profit from this deal is nearly 10 million dollars," the source concluded.

With all the health and environmental red flags raised recently, Shafaq News Agency knew that the relevant government bodies had withdrawn the product from the market pending an investigation into its safety.

"The DAP fertilizer samples have been tested, and the results were submitted to the environment's minister for ratification," a source said, "the results will be made public in a press conference soon. The issue will be raised in the cabinet meeting, and a copy of the investigation will be sent to the legislative body."

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