Iraq's Agriculture: Background and Status [May 13, 2003]   [open pdf - 36KB]

From the Summary: "Iraq's agricultural sector represents a small, but vital component of Iraq's economy. Over the past several decades agriculture's role in the economy has been heavily influenced by Iraq's involvement in military conflicts, particularly the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and the 1991 Gulf War, and by varying degrees of government efforts to promote and/or control agricultural production. In the mid-1980s, agriculture accounted for only about 14 percent of the national GDP [gross domestic product]. After the imposition of U.N. sanctions and the Iraqi government's non-compliance with a proposed U.N. Oil-for-Food program in 1991, agriculture's share of GDP is estimated to have risen to 35 percent by 1992. Rapid population growth during the past three decades, coupled with limited arable land and a general stagnation in agricultural productivity, has steadily increased dependence on imports to meet domestic food needs since the mid-1960s. By 1980 Iraq was importing about half of its food supply. By 2002, between 80 and 100 percent of many basic staples-- wheat, rice, sugar, vegetable oil, and protein meals-- were imported. This report will be updated if events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21516
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