The Economic Development of Iraq: Report of a Mission Organized by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development at the Request of the Government of Iraq

The Economic Development of Iraq: Report of a Mission Organized by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development at the Request of the Government of Iraq

The Economic Development of Iraq: Report of a Mission Organized by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development at the Request of the Government of Iraq

The Economic Development of Iraq: Report of a Mission Organized by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development at the Request of the Government of Iraq

Excerpt

It will be noted throughout this report that the Mission has made numerous recommendations for the procurement of foreign technical assistance. These recommendations are in no sense a disparagement of the talent and skills now available in Iraq. They represent rather a recognition that a country whose development has been severely handicapped by limited financial resources in the past cannot now suddenly expect to launch a development program involving rapid expansion in virtually every field without availing itself of the many opportunities to obtain technical help from abroad.

II. Agriculture

Any development program for Iraq must obviously put primary emphasis on agriculture. Over 60 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture, and both industry and commerce depend in turn largely upon farming and animal husbandry. Moreover, large increases in output can be realized both by raising the productivity of livestock and farm land already in use and by bringing under cultivation large areas presently idle.

Existing Conditions

Agriculture in Iraq is devoted largely to the cultivation of winter crops. Because of the lack of rain in the summer, during that season crops can be grown only under irrigation. In the rainfed zone of the North, summer crops can be grown only on a moderate scale in small irrigated areas. In the irrigated zone of central and southern Iraq the limited water supply restricts the area devoted to summer crops to only about one quarter of that grown to winter crops. Barley and wheat are the only significant winter crops, while rice and, more recently, cotton are the principal summer crops. The area sown to sesame, corn, millet and grain sorghum is comparatively insignificant. Tobacco assumes some importance in the mountainous areas of the North. Fruit and vegetables are quite important. Iraq is the world's principal producer and exporter of dates; excellent citrus fruit is grown, particularly in the Diyala Valley in east-central Iraq, for domestic con-

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