Smart farming…a hope that Iraq clings to before crops ‘disappear’

On Thursday, Iraq’s Agriculture Ministry Undersecretary Mithaq Abdul-Hussein said his country plans to increase agricultural production of the wheat crop for the next season using modern technologies, and switch to smart agriculture using modern sprinklers to cope with water scarcity and climate change.

During his participation in the launch of the rural families project in southern Iraq, he pointed out that in cooperation with Canada and the World Food Program (FAO), “the last agricultural campaign has registered great successes, reaching about 4,500 tons of wheat, which are excellent rates.”

He continued, “Iraq has no choice but to move towards smart agriculture and use modern technologies to develop the agricultural sector to cope with climate change and lack of water flows. water in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers”.

integrated diet

Former adviser to the Iraqi Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Irrigation, Adel Al-Mukhtar, paints a picture for “Sky News Arabia” of the reflection of water and climatic conditions on agriculture in his country:

Water scarcity and climate change have greatly affected strategic crops in Iraq, as well as other crops, and poultry and livestock are in serious decline. Fishing has also been strongly affected by water scarcity. Thus, Iraq’s meat and fish needs are also threatened.

compensation plan

Regarding the government’s plan to compensate for this shortage and deal with climate impacts, Al-Mukhtar says:

Iraq needs an integrated plan and an agricultural revolution led by a team of experts to deal with the severe droughts that are expected to hit the country in the coming years, in addition to being affected by the Turkish dam of Al-Jazra, which causes the waters of the Tigris to dry up. The use of modern technologies or smart agriculture is a big job that requires time and great capacities, and the current crisis requires quick solutions to meet the urgent needs of Iraqis. Therefore, it should be accompanied by prompt measures to increase the productivity of the wheat crop.

Water reserves are threatened

Last March, the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources warned that the water situation is the most critical since the 1930s, as stated in press releases by the director of the General Authority for Dams and ministry tanks, Ali Radi Thamer.

In detail, water storage is in a very critical situation, and the current total storage oscillates between 7 and 7.5 billion cubic meters, while it oscillated between 55 and 60 billion cubic meters at the end of 2019, which is a very big difference.

One of the reasons for this decline is the succession of rare rainy seasons, and this year Iraq passed the fourth rare season, in addition to the lack of water income from Turkey, in addition to high temperatures .

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