Iraq is self-sufficient in wheat and food supplies for six months, Minister of Commerce Atheer Daoud Al-Ghurairy said on Wednesday.

The agriculture ministry also expects Iraq's wheat harvest to exceed seven million tonnes, the state news agency cited the ministry spokesman as saying.

Iraq, with a population of more than 43 million, requires between 4.5 million and 5.0 million tons of wheat per year, according to its agriculture ministry.

Baghdad is seeking to be more self-sufficient in wheat, despite dwindling water supplies in its rivers, by shifting to growing crops in desert areas using ground water.

(Reporting by Jana Choukeir in Dubai and Moayed Kenany in Baghdad; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Sharon Singleton)