Iraq’s Agriculture Ministry announced on Saturday the launch of a national project to safeguard against drought and reduce its impacts on the agricultural sector to be effective by 2015.
Ministry spokesman Samir al-Obeidi told AKnews that the nationwide program requires improving the irrigation systems of more than three million acres of agricultural land.
Obeidi said that the project means implementing the latest sustainable methods of irrigation that meet the needs of the culture whilst reducing water wastage.
The Ministry of Agriculture project will be fully operational by 2015, he said.
“This plan will focus on the importance of codifying the consumption of water during the irrigation process.”
The announcement follows a year of especially low rainfall across Iraq which had a negative impact on the country’s agricultural sector.
Specialized economists have urged the Iraqi parliament to ratify a law submitted by the Ministry of Water Resources to the former government that addresses the “drought crisis”.
Adding to the lack of rainfall over the past year, Iraq points an accusatory finger at neighboring states, Turkey, Iran and Syria for the low water-levels in Iraq’s rivers, in particular the Tigris and the Euphrates, due to the dams and other projects they have established along them.