Iraq to Spend $500m to Stimulate Agriculture

The Iraqi Agriculture Ministry wants to spend more than 600 billion IQD ($500 million) to build modern agricultural villages in order to stimulate the Iraqi agricultural sector.

According to the report from AKnews, 20 billion IQD will be spent on average for each village in the provinces of Najaf, Anbar, Nineveh, Babil, Salahaddin and Baghdad; two villages in Diwaniyah and Karbala have already been completed.

"The project will be completed by 2015," promised Deputy Agriculture Minister Mahdi Damad al-Qaisi.

The Iraqi agriculture industry is suffering because of a two-year drought and farmers who are unable to compete with cheap imported products and therefore reluctant to farm.

The government tried to address the issue in January 2010 with a law for modern agricultural villages which mandated the Agriculture Ministry to determine suitable sites for the villages and to construct housing units.

These villages are supposed to be equipped with developed mechanisms to improve the agricultural situation, such as irrigation systems. Also, a loan system shall be available for farmers.

(Source: AKnews)

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