Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says he'll look into whether the government can pay out thousands of Australian wheat growers still owed money for sales to Iraq in the 1980s.

Some farmers have started receiving instalments of the money that's owed to them, after Iraq defaulted on a debt to the Australian Wheat Board because of the first Gulf War and trade sanctions in 1990.

The repayments will continue to be drip-fed until 2028.

Farmers say that's too long a wait, and want the Australian Government to pay them out now and collect money from Iraq later.

Mr Joyce says he's pleased Iraqi money is starting to flow, but as for the Australian Government paying growers, he says that needs further consideration.

"As far as the government making a promise to pay that money in advance and then collect the money from Iraq, I'd have to look at in vastly more detail before I went further with that one," he said.

"I'd neither dismiss it out of hand or promise to do it. I'll have a look at it."

 

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