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AGRICULTURE IN KURDISTAN

Kurdistan is regarded as the most ancient place in the history to have known agricultural activities. The Province of Germo; 11 km east of Chemchemal-town, according to archaeological studies, is the first region to have practised cultivation, 5ooo BC. Undoubtedly, Iraqi Kurdistan Region possesses enormous agricultural potentials such as extensive arable land, convenient climate, water resources and manpower.

There are two seasons for agriculture in Kurdistan:

Autumn agricultural season:

Ploughed and harvested during the year.

Winter agricultural season:

Ploughing begins in the latter quarter of the year and followed by harvesting in the summer. Wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, beans are examples of such crops.

Two methods are used for land distribution amongst the farmers, which is stipulated in the land reform legislation:

1.Distribution

2.Contracts which is divided into sections

A. Permanent contracts

B. Seasonal contracts

Farmerís share of land varies from region to region depending on:

1. Soil fertility

2. Land location to the marketing centres

3. Availability of water resources

4. Number of farmers in the region

There are two types of land in terms of ownership in Kurdistan-Iraq.

State Ownership:

Lands owned by the state given to the farmers on contract bases or distributed on them.

Private Sector Ownership:

Owned by the farmers

Below statistics shows areas of lands owned by the state and private sector, according to 1992 statistics.

Areas mentioned above cultivates various cache crops such as wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, cotton, rice, tomato, beans, sunflower-seeds, onions, garlic etc, plus various types of seasonal vegetables and fruits to meet local consumption. For example wheat production in the provinces is estimated to be 150 to 500 thousand metric tons per annum. This figure could alter depending on sufficient rainfall and methods employed.

According to statistics available, the quota of grain for the regionís own consumption is approximately 400 thousand metric tons of wheat flour per annum. Should the techniques of the cultivation be improved and modernised, the regionís own production of crops can meet more than the required quota.



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