Experts: Iraq's Agriculture May Fail to Withstand Pressures of War

Iraq's agriculture whose produce is vital for the country's population may fail to withstand the war pressures, Al-Heir Halafalla Halid, an authorised representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Iraq, told RIA Novosti. He pointed out that the 1991 war and the subsequent twelve years of economic sanctions had substantially weakened Iraq's agricultural sector and "the latter may well fail to sustain another stress".

Today, the FAO official underlined, "urgent interference is required to support the sector", otherwise the country may lose its spring grain crops currently estimated at 1.7 million tonnes. In order to make up for the loss, the country will need as many as 85,000 trucks just to transport imported grain.

The ongoing hostilities, Halafalla Halid pointed out, jeopardise the supply of fertilisers, pesticides, vaccines for inoculation of domestic animals, spare parts for farm machinery and many other goods absolutely indispensable for Iraq's agriculture. Moreover, the war threatens to disrupt the country's irrigation system vitally important for growing fruits and vegetables, for sustaining life in all agricultural plants.