As a way to help Iraq in getting back on track, the United States decided to manage and rehabilitate the traditional farming system of Iraq and make it a US-style commercial agribusiness. In fact, the US government launched a new law called Order 81 in order to make sure that the company will be able to meet its objective.
The acts of wily marketers and salesmen include coals to Newcastle, Tea to China and Ice to Eskimos. Today, a new phrase will be added to the list and that will be “Wheat to Iraq.” One part of the Mesopotamia’s “fertile crescent” is the country of Iraq. Back to history, ancient people started to domesticate wheat in about 8,000 to 8,500BC. That was the period when agriculture started which happened in Iraq.
Unfortunately, today, the birthplace of agriculture is in trouble. The production of wheat stumbled from 1,236,000 tons in 1995 to only 384,000 tons in 2000. For the previous 10 years, the region failed to keep up with the demand of wheat in Iraq. During the period of Saddam Hussein routine, the farmers were anticipated to produce wheat continuously. It resulted into the destruction of the soil, leaving only some nutrients for the crop of the following year. It increases the chance for fungus and crop disease. The end result of this will be fewer yields will be gained.
The production of wheat in Iraq collapsed these days. But, the question is, “how it will be able to get back to normal?” Despite the recent trouble, the long history of Iraqi’s agriculture means that throughout the previous 10,000 years, the farmers of Iraqi have been selecting the variety of wheat that will work in the best way with the weather.
Every year, they have kept and saved the seeds from the crops that flourish under some conditions. They replanted & cross-pollinated them with others in various strengths the next year so that the crops will improve continuously. In 2002, FAO calculated that 97% of the farmers of Iraq used the seeds they saved or they purchased seeds from the local markets.
If the new administration of Iraq really wants to re-establish the agriculture of Iraq for the sake of the people of the country, it will seek out the fruits of their understanding. It can scour the whole country for fruitful farms and when miraculously found, nothing can bring the seeds coming from ICARDA and utilize them as a source of the program that is designed to help the country regain its successful agriculture.
The United States, on the other hand, assumed that regardless of thousands of years practice, the people of Iraq do not know what kind of wheat will be the right one to produce. To address the issue, the farmers should be educated. This will be the first and the most important step to be taken in order to meet the goal of bringing back the success of Iraq when it comes to agriculture. It is what the US is doing right now.