By John Lee.
The Iraqi Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday that it has lent 1.7 trillion Iraqi dinars ($1.4 billion) to farmers since 2008.
Iraq is working to reach self-sufficiency in agricultural crops by 2018 after the implementation of an agricultural initiative that began in 2008 to improve the agricultural situation in the country after decades of neglect.
AKnews reports that the initiative includes, among other things, supporting farmers with seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, land reclamation, ensuring the purchase of strategic crops at market prices and controlling agricultural and animal diseases in addition to providing financial aid to farmers.
Deputy Minister Ghazi Al-Aboudi said: "The spending rate since last year reached 750bn IQD and this has created an agricultural renaissance where the agricultural product found in the market is mostly local and not imported."
Iraq has also banned the importation of many foods in order to keep prices high.