The Political Economy of Iraq

The Political Economy of Iraq

Restoring Balance in a Post-Conflict Society

Frank R. Gunter

This groundbreaking volume offers a comprehensive look at the current state of Iraq’s political economy in the aftermath of the US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Frank R. Gunter describes the unique difficulties facing the modern Iraqi economy and provides detailed recommendations for fostering future economic growth and stability.

Chapter 7: Agriculture and the public distribution system

Frank R. Gunter

Subjects: economics and finance, development economics, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy


Iraq, along with Turkey, is one of the few countries in the Middle East with sufficient water for large-scale agriculture (Ahmad 2002, p. 170; Savello 2009a, Table 2, p. 2). It is well known that Iraq was an agricultural cornucopia throughout most of its history, so it is surprising that currently Iraq is a large net-importer of agricultural products. This change has more to do with the mismanagement of the agriculture and agribusiness sectors by a succession of regimes than any fundamental change in the Iraqi agricultural environment. As can be seen in Figure 7.1, Iraq has three different climates. The southwest region is a relatively flat, very arid desert. Mean annual rainfall is only 100 to 170 millimeters (four to seven inches). At the other extreme, the northeast of the country is mountainous with a Mediterranean type climate. Annual precipitation ranges from 760 to 1000 millimeters (30 to 40 inches); sufficient for rain-fed agriculture. In between is a band of semi-arid climate that stretches from the Syrian and Turkish borders in the northwest to the Persian Gulf in the southeast. Out of Iraq’s four largest cities, two cities – Baghdad and Basrah – and most of the country’s population are in this semi-arid region. In central Iraq, typical temperatures range from 40°C (100°F) in July and August to 17°C (64°F) in the winter, although highs of 48°C (120°F) and lows below freezing have been known.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information