Economic Reform And Agriculture In Iraq

The write up following below, reveals the general features of economic reform and agriculture in Iraq. It depicts as to what conditions prevailed in the earlier days, the reasons for the failure of the economic reforms introduced by the government. It shows that the Iraqi government was very complacent about the agrarian reforms.
Even though it did implement the reforms pertaining to agriculture, somehow the reforms failed to serve the purpose because of the faulty execution.

History of economic reform and agriculture in Iraq:
The agricultural sector in Iraq, underwent many reformations in the past forty four years.
However, judicious water management is something the country has always longed for. Due to the improper implementation of land reforms the productivity of the agricultural sector suffered a lot. As a result, this sector of the economy grew very slowly.

Ottoman Land Code, 1858:
According to the Ottoman Land Code, 1858, the arable land was categorized. This was also a part of the economic reform and agriculture in Iraq. Surveys were required to be carried out and the land was required to be registered.
However, by the time the First World War had commenced, only sparse agricultural land was registered. As per norms, the government was the owner of the land and the land titles were not secured. The Ottoman Land Code, which encompassed economic reform and agriculture in Iraq, failed to improve productivity of this sector. During that period agricultural land was mainly plowed by sharecroppers. The tenants were entitled to receive a meager sum of the agricultural output. This led to unequal distribution and eventually farmers lost interest in producing more than was actually required for sustenance.
First half of 1930:
By the first half of 1930, securing land titles had become the priority and an expansion of the agricultural sector was reckoned. The northern part of Iraq, was characterized by investments from the merchants in development of land. While in the Southern part of Iraq, tribal people were engaged in installation of pumps and worked towards betterment of land.
The scenario in 1990 and before:
Prior to the year 1990, approximately one third of the primary needs were produced by the country and the deficit was imported by spending USD$2 billion. Thereafter, even though demand for agricultural products have risen, the supply has not been enough.
Reasons for slow growth:
The agriculture sector has not been able to grow much due to the following reasons:

Lack of —
Quality seeds
Agricultural machinery
Agricultural spare parts
Animal vaccines
Equipments for tilling the land

The other problems facing the agricultural sector in Iraq include:
Shortage of raw materials
Technological know how

We see there are various hindrances in the development of the agricultural sector in Iraq. To overcome these problems economic reform to remove hindrances in the agricultural sector was felt. As part of the economic reform and agricultural in Iraq, the government should address adjusting programs pertaining to:
Land usage
Production of livestock
Production of feed resources
Protecting the ecology
Water resources
Research and development

Role of the government in economic reform and agriculture in Iraq:
Economic reform in the agriculture sector in Iraq, comprised establishment of land reforms. As per the land reform program in Iraq, there was provision for the modernization of the land after the land was redistributed. The power of the landowners was taken away and it was decided that land would be controlled by the government at the center. In the year 1981, government in Iraq decided that it would reduce intervention in matters related to land reform in the country. This led to the downfall of the agricultural sector in Iraq. After this development, the government remained silent for a long spell until it felt that things were moving out of hand. As part of the economic reform and agriculture in Iraq, privatization of land was recommended by the government.

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Last Updated on : 26th June 2013

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