Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Business

Water crisis: Turkish dams could force Iraqi wheat farmers to cut crops

By Rudaw 25/6/2018
Iraqi farmer harvests wheat. Photo: Safin Hamed / AFP
Iraqi farmer harvests wheat. Photo: Safin Hamed / AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – With Turkey diverting water from the Tigris River for its Ilisu Dam project, wheat farmers down river in Iraq may be forced to reduce their crop planting by as much as 50 percent, leading to a spike in imports of wheat and other grains.

“Next season will be affected as the filling of the Ilisu Dam will start,” Iraq’s deputy agriculture minister, Mahdi al Qaisi, told Bloomberg on Monday.

The country will need to increase imports from other countries to meet consumer demand.

On Sunday, Iraq’s agriculture ministry tendered to purchase 50,000 tons of wheat from the US, Canada and Australia.

Iraq is the second largest buyer of wheat for planting in the Middle East after Egypt.

Iraq’s water crisis has led Baghdad’s ministry of agriculture to call for a temporary ban on the planting of other water intensive crops starting in July.

Rice, white and yellow corn, sesame, sun flower seeds, mung beans, and cotton are among crops facing prohibition.

“The agricultural plan for the summer” was modified “because the quantities of water needed for these cereals are not available,” Iraqi ministry of agriculture spokesman Hamid al-Nayef said last week as reported by AFP.

Al-Nayef added that Iraq may also have to resume importing corn next year. Roughly 100,000 tons of corn is currently held in reserve, which will last about a year.

The water shortages affecting Iraq’s crops are being blamed on Turkey’s controversial Ilisu Dam project on the Tigris River. The hydropower dam has been under construction for over two decades and is due to start filling this month, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

Erbil, however, says it will ignore the ban on planting certain crops, as the Kurdistan Region is not suffering the same degree of water scarcity. 

“The Kurdistan Region doesn’t have a water problem for irrigation and agriculture,” Akram Ahmed, the KRG’s director general of dams and water reserves told Rudaw last week.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Pakistani | 2/16/2019 3:28:42 AM
Turkey is a terrorist state , has been killing innocent Kurds for ages ....
parasitePKK | 2/17/2019 3:54:11 AM
As long as the PKK is there Turkey has the right to defend themselves. PKK is a parasite against the Kurds.
Kurdish villagers driven off their mountainsides by Turkish airstrikes
| 15/2/2019 | (2)
josfe | 2/14/2019 4:59:43 AM
And this man is a graduate with masters ? A college kid would be more objektive and wouldnt let his own opinion shine through.
David | 2/17/2019 1:36:54 AM
Solid analysis and proposal!
Rojava and Turkey: A classic case in colonialism
| 13/2/2019 | (5)
guest2002 | 2/15/2019 8:20:41 PM
The attack was on armed forces . Since when that is called terrorism??? Mollas ruling Iran have terrified Iranians for 40 years now. They kill...
Erbilguy | 2/17/2019 1:17:06 AM
@guest2002 So Isis beheading peshmergas was not terrorism?
United Nations encourages states to help Iran after terror attack killed 27
| 15/2/2019 | (8)
Dutchman | 2/16/2019 11:33:33 PM
Macron is right. When Putin talks about an "inter-Syrian political dialogue" he means that Assad and his Alawit minority regime stays in power with...
Macron, Putin weigh ‘deteriorated’ situation in Syria
| yesterday at 11:58 | (1)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Shiite commanders, politicians warn Iraqis against dealing with ‘Zionists’ 4 hours ago |

Shiite commanders, politicians warn Iraqis against dealing with ‘Zionists’

Amiri, Khazali, and Muhandis signed the joint more
Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children' 6 hours ago |

Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children'

"Volunteers work with them and talk to them about more
0.625 seconds