Iraqi Farmers fight against Imported Goods, Corruption

Abayji also calls for “the development of modern irrigation, cultivating and storing techniques, the support of agricultural research, training farmers to use advanced farming methods and settings laws that meet the conditions of fair competition between importers and exporters.”

She also believes it is necessary to “lend farmers in a transparent way,” stressing that “previous projects were funded in a corrupted manner and funds ended up in the pockets of some corrupt investors.”

It is worth mentioning that the Iraqi Products Protection Act No. 11 of 2010 provides for the need to avoid drowning the local market with imported products supported by exporting countries.

Agricultural expert Amer Habeeb told Al-Monitor, “It is very important to encourage local agricultural investments, as this would create more job opportunities and make local products available on the market, instead of spending huge sums on imports.”

Habib called on “implementing the tariff laws on importers and thus paving the way for a fair competition with the local producer.”

After a bitter experience with wars that led to economic and security chaos, Iraq needs to promote its food security by strengthening the role of farmers and local products. Iraq’s agricultural lands are vast, not to mention the abundant waters in the country, and yet vegetables and fruits are being imported from desert countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

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