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Iraq

 
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Iraq

AGRICULTURE

Since the beginning of recorded time, agriculture has been the primary economic activity of the people of Iraq. In 1976, agriculture contributed about 8 percent of Iraq's total GDP, and it employed more than half the total labor force. In 1986, despite a ten-year Iraqi investment in agricultural development that totaled more than US$4 billion, the sector still accounted for only 7.5 percent of total GDP, a figure that was predicted to decline. In 1986 agriculture continued to employ a significant portion--about 30 percent--of Iraq's total labor force. Part of the reason the agricultural share of GDP remained small was that the sector was overwhelmed by expansion of the oil sector, which boosted total GDP.

Large year-to-year fluctuations in Iraqi harvests, caused by variability in the amount of rainfall, made estimates of average production problematic, but statistics indicated that the production levels for key grain crops remained approximately stable from the 1960s through the 1980s, with yield increasing while total cultivated area declined. Increasing Iraqi food imports were indicative of agricultural stagnation. In the late 1950s, Iraq was self-sufficient in agricultural production, but in the 1960s it imported about 15 percent of its food supplies, and by the 1970s it imported about 33 percent of its food. By the early 1980s, food imports accounted for about 15 percent of total imports, and in 1984, according to Iraqi statistics, food imports comprised about 22 percent of total imports. Many experts expressed the opinion that Iraq had the potential for substantial agricultural growth, but restrictions on water supplies, caused by Syrian and Turkish dam building on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, might limit this expansion.

Data as of May 1988

 

Iraq - TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Economy

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GENERAL FACTS & LINKS

Country name
Iraq
conventional long form
Republic of Iraq
conventional short form
Iraq
local long form
Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah
local short form
Al Iraq

Area -
total: 437,072 sq km
land: 432,162 sq km
water: 4,910 sq km

Geographic Location - Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

Map references - Middle East

Capital - Baghdad

Border Countries - Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 242 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 331 km

Major Cities - Baghdad

Independence -
3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday - Revolution Day, 17 July (1968)

ISD CODE
Iraq 964

Languages Spoken - Arabic (official) and Kurdish

Weather Forecast -  Baghdad  Mosul  Saddam Irq-Afb / Civ  Shaibah / Basrah

Major Airports - Baghdad

Ports - Umm Qasr, Khawr az Zubayr, and Al Basrah have limited functionality

Population -24,001,816 (July 2002 est.)

Religion - Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

Nationality - Iraqi(s)

Currency - Iraqi dinar

Currency Code - IQD

National Bird - "Kew" (Chukar)

Lakes - Hammer

Rivers - Euphrates, Tigris

Terrain - Mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

Climate - Mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq

Geography - Strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

Waterways - 1,015 km
note: Shatt al Arab is usually navigable by maritime traffic for about 130 km; channel has been dredged to 3 m and is in use; Tigris and Euphrates Rivers have navigable sections for shallow-draft boats; Shatt al Basrah canal was navigable by shallow-draft craft before closing in 1991 because of the Gulf war

Natural hazards - Dust storms, sandstorms, floods

Natural Resources - petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulphur


More Iraq related links from
1Up Info

 Iraq Country Facts

 Middle Eastern Political Geography

 Iraq Political Geography

 Middle Eastern Physical Geography

 Iraq Towns & Cities

 Iraq History


Iraq related links from
1Up Travel

 Iraq Country Guide

 Iraq Detailed Maps

 Iraq Flag

 More Iraqi Flags

 Iraq Geography

 Iraq Travel Warnings

 Iraq Cities Weather

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Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


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