IRAQ COUNTRY STATUS ON AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN POST-CONFLICT AND PROTRACTED CRISES COUNTRIES

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1 IRAQ COUNTRY STATUS ON AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN POST-CONFLICT AND PROTRACTED CRISES COUNTRIES

2

3 Agro-climatic setting Iraq has a total surface area of 43.7 million hectares of which 34.0 million (77.7 percent) is not viable for agricultural use under current conditions. Less than 0.4 percent is in forest and woodlands situated along the extreme northern border with Turkey and Iran. The remaining 22 percent (about 9.5 million hectares) is involved in agricultural activities, although almost half of this is very marginal and used only for seasonal grazing of Iraq s livestock population of predominantly goats and sheep.

4 Iraq s agricultural sector represents a small, but vital component of the country s economy. Prior to the development of the petroleum industry, agriculture was Iraq s primary economic activity. As late as 1976, agriculture still contributed about 8% of Iraq s GDP, and it employed more than half the total labor force. Agriculture contribution to Iraq GDP was raised to 15% by 1980.

5 Population dynamics also have been influential in determining the role and importance of Iraq s agricultural sector in the general economy, and the extent of domestic food security. During the period from 1971 to 1990, Iraq s population grew at an annual rate of 3.2% compared with only a 1.2% growth rate for Iraq s cereal production (cereals are the principal source of calories in Iraq). As a result, food demand outpaced food production and created a growing dependence on agricultural imports to close the gap between food demand and availability.

6 Over the past several decades agriculture s role in the economy has been heavily influenced by Iraq s involvement in military conflicts, particularly the Iran-Iraq War, the 1991 Gulf War, and the 2003 Iraq War, and varying degrees of government policy intervention to promote and/or control agricultural production.

7 CONFLICT AND PROTRACTED CRISES IN IRAQ IRAQ IRAN War st. Gulf War & UN Sanction nd. Gulf War 2003

8 IRAQ IRAN War : Agricultural labor migration from the country side to the city and their participation in the war was the most influential factors on the agricultural sector at that period. Agriculture had contributed to about 15% of national GDP..

9 1 st. Gulf War and UN Sanction resulted in significant damage to the irrigation and transportation infrastructure vital to Iraq s agricultural sector. Agricultural productivity suffered for lack of fertilizers, agricultural machinery, and the means of spraying planted areas with pesticides. Salinity has spread across much of the irrigated fields of central and southern Iraq. Drought and severe labor shortage further hurting agricultural productivity.

10 Iraq s poultry and livestock populations were devastated by the loss of rangeland to grain crops and the drop off of feed grain imports and veterinary medicines needed for routine control of parasites and diseases.

11 The government took several steps to increase both production and control of domestic food. These changes included Government monopoly control over most grain production and the introduction of a statemanaged system of rationing of basic foodstuffs.

12 The Government raised the official purchase price of major field crops and initiated a program to expand planted area particularly for cereal crops in northern Iraq. Agricultural inputs were made available to farmers with very low prices. Government incentives coupled with rising internal food prices encouraged Iraqi farmers to expand crop area by planting on marginal pastureland and fragile hillsides. Upon this policy, agriculture contributed to % of national GDP.

13 By the mid-1990s severe macroeconomic problems related to the international sanctions led to declining food availability which resulted in a significant rise in malnutrition in Iraq, particularly in the center and south of the country. By 1996, Iraq agreed to U.N. terms for establishing an Oil-For-Food (OFF) program. Once started, however, food imports made Iraq s trade dependence nearly complete for many basic foodstuffs. By early 2003 nearly 60 percent of Iraq s population was totally dependent on imports via the OFF. U.N.

14 2 nd. Gulf War 2003: the war had its bad effect on agriculture sector due to lack of electricity, poor roads, security situation, salinity, drought. machinery, fertilizers, pest and weed control, better varieties of plant and migration of agricultural labor to cities and army jobs. Agriculture contribution to national GDP was sharply declined.

15 Reconstruction efforts Iraq government support : The Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture has formulated a Strategic Plan to address the limitations of agriculture in Iraq and endorsed a strategy for FAO assistance to the Iraqi efforts along with various key ministries. In order to expedite the rehabilitation of the agriculture sector, the Government of Iraq is increasing its investment in agriculture and is seeking technical assistance and support from FAO and all other international organizations. Farmers loans ( 50% donation & 50% free of interest ) Incentives, subsidized inputs Strengthening agricultural research, training, and extension services

16 International Support Some U.S. and international organizations are working to help rehabilitate Iraq's agricultural infrastructure work with the Iraqi government to help them provide the kinds of services they would in any country.that effort includes agricultural extension services such as introducing new products and training farmers on how to use them, and basic infrastructure upkeep such as cleaning and repairing irrigation pumps and canals. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture organization also is funding and carrying out a variety of projects, from fish farms to the date palm industry to rehabilitating food processing plant etc.

17 Lessons learned To revive agriculture sector in Iraq with the huge support of Iraqi government and international organizations, the following aspects should be always considered: 1- Continues government and international support. 2- Strengthening agricultural research, training, extension services to transfer and adopt new technology. 3- Encouraging Agricultural Cooperatives & agro-industries.

18 Future outlook Clearly, Iraq will be dependent on imports for fully meeting domestic food demand for several years to come. In the long term, after the economy has regained its viability and vibrancy, market forces and international competition will likely be the driving forces behind Iraq s agricultural trade patterns. Iraq s historical trade and food consumption patterns suggest that food grains such as wheat and rice, feedstuffs including corn, barley, and protein meals, vegetable oil, sugar, meat, and dairy products are all likely to be important imports into Iraq. Continuous government and international support will certainly revive agriculture sector of Iraq.

19 Solving the factors that hinder development in the Iraqi agriculture sector or agriculture capacity will certainly improve agricultural productivity and alleviate poverty, food insecurity and unemployment in Iraq. This will surly has its great impact on sustainable peace / stability

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