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Iraq Flag

Official Name: Republic of Iraq Official

language: Arabic

Government: Federal parliamentary republic

Major Cities: Baghdad, Basra, Arbil, Sulaymaniyah, Mosul Provinces: Al Anbar , Babil , Baghdad , Basra , Dhi Qar , Diyala , Dohuk ,Erbil , Karbala , Kirkuk , Maysan , Muthanna, Najaf, Nineveh , Al Diwaniyah, Saladin , Sulaymaniyah Wasit

Capital: Baghdad

Airport: Baghdad Internaional Airport

Religion: Islam

Holidays: January 1 New Year Day, January 6 Armed Forces Day, March 21 Nowruz, April 9 Bagdad Liberation Day, April 17 FAO Day May 1Labour Day, July 14 Republic Day, July 27 Shiite Rebellion August 8Ceasefire Day, October 3 National Day, December 25Christmas Day, variable Islamic New Year, Ashura Prophet's Birthday, End of Ramadan (3 days), Feast of the Sacrifice (4 days)

Area: 437,072 km2(59-th) Area Under Rice

Cultivation: 125000 h

Rice Production Season: 1. Planting: Jun-Jul 2. Harvesting: Sep-Oct Agricultural

Website: http://www.iraqagriculture.net

Population: 36,004,552 (36th)

Currency: Iraqi dinar (IQD)

Calling code: +964

Time Zone: GMT +3 =>

Introduction. Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq , is a country in Western Asia. The country borders Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest, and Syria to the west. The southern part of Iraq is within the Arabian ZPeninsula. The capital, Baghdad, is in the center of the country and its largest city. The largest ethnic groups in Iraq are Arabs and Kurds. Other ethnic groups include Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians. Around 95% of the country's 36 million citizens are Shia or Sunni Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. Iraq has a narrow section of coastline measuring 58 km (36 mi) on the northern Persian Gulf and its territory encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through the center of Iraq and flow into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is often referred to as Mesopotamia is the world's oldest civilization. It is here that mankind first began to read, write, create laws, and live in cities under an organized government. The area has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. At different periods in its history, Iraq was the center of the indigenous Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires. It was also part of the Median, Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid, and Ottoman empires, and under British control as a League of Nations mandate. Iraq's modern borders were mostly demarcated in 1920 by the League of Nations when the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Treaty of Sèvres. Iraq was placed under the authority of the United Kingdom as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. A monarchy was established in 1921 and the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Republic of Iraq was created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power and multi-party parliamentary elections were held. There are in the country about 10,000 archaeological sites in which lie hidden the remains of a large succession of civilizations that date as far back as the Paleolithic age, 100,000 years ago. The most recent are those that belong to the Islamic periods.

Geography. Iraq, the cradle of civilization is situated in the North-East of the great Arab homeland of which it is an important part. It lies to the North-East of the Arabian Peninsula, itself part of South-West Asia which Iraq is an extension, because of their similar geophysical structures. Iraq lies between latitudes 92 and 38 N, and longitudes 39 and 49 E(a small area lies West of 39). Spanning 437,072 km² (168,754 sq. mi), it is comparable in size to the US of California, and somewhat larger than Paraguay. Iraq mainly consists of desert, but near the two great rivers (Euphrates and Tigris) are fertile alluvial, its traverse the country from North to South, and they are fed by many tributaries, which makes Iraq notable for its rich water resources, as the rivers carry about 60,000,000 m³ (78,477,037 cu yd) of silt annually to the delta.The country can be divided roughly into three regions: the mountainous snow-clad North and North-East, about 20 percent of whole country, a central largely limestone plateau representing 59.5 percent of the whole, and the Southern flat lowland alluvial plain, with many lakes and marshes.

Climate. Most of Iraq has a hot arid climate with subtropical influence. Summer temperatures average above 40 °C (104 °F) for most of the country and frequently exceed 48 °C (118.4 °F). Winter temperatures infrequently exceed 21 °C (69.8 °F) with maxima  roughly 15 to 19 °C (59.0 to 66.2 °F) and night-time lows 2 to 5 °C (35.6 to 41.0 °F). Typically precipitation is low; most places receive less than 250 mm (9.8 in) annually, with maximum rainfall occurring during the winter months. Rainfall during the summer is extremely rare, except in the far north of the country. The northern mountainous regions have cold winters with occasional heavy snows, sometimes causing extensive flooding.

Agriculture. About one-eighth of Iraq’s total area is arable, and another one-tenth is permanent pasture. A large proportion of the arable land is in the north and northeast, where rainfed irrigation dominates and is sufficient to cultivate winter crops, mainly wheat and barley. The remainder is in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, where irrigation of approximately half of Iraq’s arable land is necessary throughout the year. The cultivated area declined by about half during the 1970s, mainly because of increased soil salinity, but grew in the 1980s as a number of large reclamation projects, particularly in the central and northwestern areas, were completed. In addition, droughts in Turkey frequently reduced the amount of Euphrates water available for irrigation in the south. Although the Tigris is affected less by drought-because it has a wider drainage area, including tributaries in Iran-it has been necessary to construct several large dams throughout the river system to store water for irrigation. Careful management of the soils has been necessary to combat salinity. Increases in water usage in the upstream states, Turkey and Syria, and the poor condition of Iraq’s water infrastructure have contributed to recurring severe water shortages, forcing farmers to abandon farmland. The chief crops are barley, wheat, rice, vegetables, corn (maize), millet, sugarcane, sugar beets, oil seeds, fruit, fodder, tobacco, and cotton. Iraq was once the world's largest Date producer, and although Date palm is a crucial commodity in Iraq, years of conflict, sanctions caused significant, and political instability have caused significant declines in productivity- the number of date palm trees has decreased by approximately 50 percent since the 1960s. Production is also constrained by the destructive activities of pest and the increasingly harsh physical condition- drought heat, and salinity- that many Iraqi farmers are forced to confront. Livestock constitutes an integral part of farming system. Traditionally farmers keep livestock to enhance farm income and satisfy their basic food requirements for milk, meat, milk by-products…etc.

Rice. Iraq has 43844600 ha total land area and approximately 12 million ha of this land is cultivable. The average of rice growing area is 125000 ha producing 392,950 tons of paddy with average yield (3.159 ton/ha). Rice is considered as a strategically crop and very necessary for food security in Iraq. The rice is discovered 300 years B.C. It's an ancient crop in Iraq and is called Shilbo, but now named Shilb. Rice in the most important summer crops in Iraq occupying 5-6 percent of cultivated area. The production of rice in Iraq is mainly grown in two provinces in central of Iraq, with a large concentration around Najaf. The rice areas and production in Najaf and Diwaniya provinces were amounted 70 percent from complete rice area in Iraq.
Iraqi rice farmers mostly cultivate rice according to the cultural practices inherited from their parents. In the past, rice was cultivated depends on irrigation with a large area because of the plentiful water particularly in the summer season. At the present, rice planting is limited because of water scarcity and population growth.

Rice planting season. The ideal period for rice planting in main rice producing provinces is 10 June. Harvesting is done on 5-10 November. However, average rice production of Iraq is low compared with other rice-growing countries around the world. The domestic production is not enough for consumption. Iraq imports rice more than 500000 ton per year. Rice consumption per capita is 10 kg and total milled rice consumption is more than 1 million ton. In Iraq, the water resources for agricultural production face heightened competition from other sectors like industry and domestic use. This necessitates considering different crops, altered agricultural systems, and innovative methods that can reduce the water requirements for the irrigation of rice. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a system that could contribute to reducing water use for rice crops and possibly other crops, with SRI system reported 38% reduction in water.