This Agricultural Sector Note is based on a desk study prepared on  equest of the World Bank. The Note reviews available information on the performance of Iraqi agriculture, government policies, development partners’ programmes, constraints, potential and comparative advantages. The Note outlines areas for futurecooperation in the agricultur e sector between the World Bank and the Government of Iraq (GoI), including possible areas for technical assistance.
The Note is based on available documentation which might be outdated and/or not reflecting current GoI views and recent progress made on technical, institutional, programmatic and policy issues. Therefore, the information and conclusions summarized in the report are to be considered very preliminary and eventually subject to substantial revision.
This study was conducted during 19th August, 2018 to 12th February, 2019 in Rania district, Sulaimani governorate to classify the water of 24 springs, 25wells and 3 rivers for agricultural purpose. The results indicated that all the studied water had good or excellent class for irrigation depending on global systems of irrigation. On the other hand, depending on USDA classification (1954) the water of (44, 5, 2 and 1) locations had (C2S1, C3S1, C4S1 and C4S2) classes for irrigation purpose respectively. While the waters of 49 and 3 locations had excellent and very satisfactory class for livestock and poultry uses respectively. Depending on dissolved oxygen (DO mg l-1 ) value most of the studied water were suitable for fish culture, except the water of two locations were not suitable for all fish species due to low values of dissolved oxygen in these two locations which were 5.20 and 6.30 mg oxygen per ml water.

This study was conducted on Al-Massab Al-Aam channel (middle sector) starting from Al-Hillah city up to AL-Nasiriyacity . In this study the heavy elements were specified and their impact on the quality of the of the Al-Massab Al-Aam channel (middle sector).The study covers the effect of the climate on the main outfall drain channel (Middle sector) which is represented by the quantity of rains falling over the area of study as well as the temperature all over the year at an annual rate straining from 1975 up to 2011, in addition to the evaporation during the above cited years.The heavy elements under this are Zinc "Zn" lead "Pb" copper "cu " Nickel "in" and cadmium . The study has revealed that the study area, namely the main outfall drain channel (Middle sector) is not polluted with the Zinc, nickel and cadmium elements. The concentrations of each element is 0 or Nil, while the concentration of lead was ranging from (0.04 - 0.086 ppm), with an average amounting at 0.051.These values show that the lead concentration in the Al-Massab Al-Aam channel (middle sector)is hazardous and poisoning.








As a steward of the water resources in Iraq, The Ministry of Water Resources has undertaken the task of dams construction in Iraq since 1958 when the first concrete dam ( Dokan Dam) was constructed on the Lower Zab.

The dams located on rivers, watercourses and valleys are of great advantages. They are constructed to control flood and utilize the stored water for agriculture, drinking, electricity generation (which is a clean energy and does not inflict any harm or pollution to the environment) and tourism development through creating an attractive and comfortable locations for residents and citizens who wish to be present there for tourism and leisure. Dams also help improve the environment, climate in the areas surrounding their lakes, as well as, improving the agricultural condition and the living situation for people through providing them with job opportunities in the Dam Project. Furthermore,



The Republic of Iraq (hereinafter referred to as “Iraq”) has relatively rich water resources compared to other middle-eastern countries, however, the latest irrigation technique is yet to be introduced sufficiently, which leads to ineffective use of water resources. Since around 50 % of cultivable land in Iraq depends on rain water, the agricultural productivity is unstable, agricultural sector has a tendency of decline, contribution of this sector to national GDP was decreased drastically in these 20 years. This situation causes unstable food supply and decrease of job opportunities in rural areas.

A series of Feasibility Studies of the irrigation projects, namely, South Jazira, North Jazira and East Jazira Irrigation Projects was done in 1980s to introduce new irrigation system from the Tigris River for the purpose of agricultural production increase and socio-economic development. The North Jazira Irrigation Project was completed in 1991 and operation of Mosul dam providing water resource for those irrigation areas above was initiated in 1985. However, the project implementation in the South and the East Jazira Irrigation Area had been suspended due to the political and social turbulence. 




Iraq occupies an area of about 443,432 within the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region, (latitudes 5' to 37' 15' north and longitudes 38" 45' to 48' 45' east). The altitude of the country varies from sea level in the south to as high as 3500 m above sea level in the mountains of the northeast. In the central part of the country, the Mesopotamia plain (near Baghdad and Babylon) has altitudes of 30 to 30 m above sea level. Upper Mesopotamia (Al-Jazeera) varies in altitude from 100 to 450 m above sea level, with the northern part being flat or slightly undulating. The population of Iraq in the year 2000 was about 24 million, and has been growing at an annual rate of about 3%,. 




Iraq, with a total area of 438 320 km², is bordered by Turkey to the north, the Islamic Republic of Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf to the southeast, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to the south, and Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic to the west. Topographically, Iraq is shaped like a basin, consisting of the Great Mesopotamian alluvial plain of the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers (Mesopotamia means, literally, the land between two rivers). This plain is surrounded by mountains in the north and the east, which can reach altitudes of 3 550 m above sea level, and by desert areas in the south and west, which account for over 40 percent of the land area. For administrative purposes, the country is divided into eighteen governorates, of which three (Arbil, Dahuk, and As Sulaymaniyah) are gathered in an autonomous region in the north and the other fifteen governorates are in central and southern Iraq. This division corresponds roughly to the rainfed northern agricultural zone and the irrigated central and southern zone



The agriculture sector is vital to Iraq’s economy and has been the second largest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has escalated armed activities in the summer of 2014 at a particularly crucial time in the agricultural calendar, leading to significant damage and loss to the sector.

Harvested wheat, barley and vegetables were lost due to population displacements, looting and the burning of grain bins. Farmers were unable to plant for the next agricultural season. According to a research conducted in March 2016, Iraq has lost 40 percent of agricultural production since ISIL began occupying some of the most important agricultural areas in 2014, with damages continuing from the current armed conflict.1



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. 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 1992.1