Sunday, November 18, 2018
Directory Directory Subscribe

Wheat production in Iraq halved due to water shortages - report


Please, enter data

Please, enter data

Rudaw, 13 September 2018

Iraq will cut irrigated areas it uses to plant wheat by half in the 2018-2019 growing season as droughts grip the country, a major grain buyer in the Middle East.

"The shortage of water resources, climate change and drought are the main reasons behind this decision, our expectation is the area will shrink to half," Deputy Agriculture Minister Mahdi al-Qaisi told Reuters in an interview published on Tuesday.

"We expect that the irrigated wheat area falls to half of what it was last year," he added.

Qaiso also said it was still too early to tell if rainfall could make up for some of the shortfalls but remained hopeful.

"We will follow a few programmes to increase the crop, like raising yields and bringing Nineveh province back to more production ... that can partly make up for the shortfall," he said.

However, only 100,000 tonnes of wheat was procured from the plains of Nineveh this year, an area which once produced nearly 1 million tonnes annually before the rise of ISIS in 2014.

Earlier this year, the Iraqi government placed a temporary ban the cultivation of water-intensive crops like rice, corn, sesame, and sunflowers because "the quantities of water needed for these cereals are not available".

Iraq is heavily dependent on water sources which originate from beyond its borders, yet it uses significantly more water than its neighbors in Syria and Turkey – largely because of poor infrastructure after decades of conflict, outmoded irrigation, and the prevalence of water-intensive crops.

Farmers in central and southern Iraq are being forced to sell their cattle and abandon their land as Iraq's water crisis turns the once fertile soil to desert sand.

With the latest decision, wheat imports are expected to rise significantly.

Iraq already has an import gap of one million tonnes of wheat per year, with an annual demand of between 4.5 million to 5 million tonnes.

"Imports will go up as a result of cutting down on production and also as a result of population increase," said Fadel al-Zubi, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Iraq Representative.

About 70 percent of Iraq's water comes from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

However, the once-mighty Tigris River has shrunk to a trickle, squeezed by drought, mismanagement, and by major dam projects upstream in neighboring Turkey.

The level of water in Iraqi strategic water stores has fallen by eight billion cubic-meters amid a continued row over shared waters between Iraq, Turkey, and Iran and also due to climate change.

Wheat imports to Iraq are imperative to supply a rationing program established in 1991 due to UN economic sanctions which also includes rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil and baby formula.


Login to Add Your Comment  (for subscribers) | Subscribe


Latest News

Saudi Arabia ‘set for improved deficit in 2018’
TradeArabia News Service, 2 November 2018

Saudi Arabia’s deficit of SR49 billion ($13 billion) during the first nine months of 2018 was less than the financing of SR52 billion obtained in the first ...

Read full story
Saudi Arabia ‘set for improved deficit in 2018’
Turkish foreign minister hails ties with Qatar
Andalou Agency, 2 November 2018

Turkey's foreign minister on Thursday hailed the state of bilateral relations with Qatar.

Speaking at a meeting with Qatari Deputy Prime ...

Read full story
Turkish foreign minister hails ties with Qatar
Back to Home Page 3066 --- 0 <><><> 775.....exvideo=0....eximage=0
P 0
BR 33

3rd Annual Dubai Green Hotel Innovation
26 - November 2018
3rd Annual Future Accessibility & Assistive Technology Dubai
26 - November 2018
Qatar Water Infrastructure
3 - December 2018
Future Landscape and Playspaces KSA
10 - December 2018
3rd Annual Future Police Technology and Forensics Summit GCC 2018
10 - December 2018
  View more  

Market Indecies
Saudi SE - 2.32%
Dubai FM - 4.53%
Abu Dhabi SE - 3.99%
Kuwait SE - 1.51%
Doha SM - 8.36%
Muscat SM - 6.18%
Casablanca SE Closed
Bahrain SE - 0.98%
Cairo SE Closed
Amman SE - 1.12%

Quick Links
  Brochures & Flyers  

Up-coming events
  Sustainable Digital Ecosystem Summit - 4 December - 6 December 2018  
  Food Africa Cairo - 8 December - 10 December 2018  
  Mac Fruit Attraction - 8 December - 10 December 2018  
  Project Qatar - 29 April - 1 May 2019  
  Heavy Max - 29 April - 1 May 2019  
  Qatar Stone Tech - 29 April - 1 May 2019  
  Beirut Boat - 30 April - 4 May 2019  
  Project Lebanon - 18 June - 21 June 2019  
IFP Group Events Calendar

Magazine sections
  Growth Markets  
  Regional Overview  
  Tips and Tricks  
  Home Finance  
  Our Meetings
  Legal Issues


IFP Corporate
• IFP Emirates
• IFP Lebanon
• IFP Qatar
• IFP Iraq
• REC Saudi Arabia
• IFP China
Beirut Boat
Energy Lebanon
Project Lebanon
Sustainable Digital Ecosystem Summit
Heavy Max
Project Qatar
Qatar Stone Tech
Saudi Arabia
Riyadh Motor Show
IFP Group 2018 - © All rights reserved