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Fighting robs Iraqi farmers of harvest

The Islamic State attacks and defensive military operations have affected the agricultural sector in Iraq's Salahuddin province, where wheat production had been expected to reach 4.5 million tons this year.
Villagers scatter wheat seeds on a field during planting season in Falluja, 50km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, November 22, 2007. REUTERS/Mohanned Faisal (IRAQ) - RTX3Y8R

Approximately 60% of the residents of the Salahuddin province, 175 kilometers (109 miles) north of Baghdad, work in farming. Salahuddin was ranked the top producing province in agriculture in 2012, and earned about $400 million from agricultural products. However, the ongoing military operations in the province have cost the province its plans to cultivate 900,000 acres of wheat and barley this year.

Hamadi Jiyyad is one farmer who had hoped to see an agricultural boom in 2014 and prepared his land in the Tikrit district for wheat cultivation. However, the fighting near his fields forced him and his family to flee to Baghdad, and he postponed the winter planting until next year.

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