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Iraq considers proposal of agricultural licensing rounds for foreign investors

The Iraqi government is studying a licensing proposal that would allow foreign investment in agriculture to increase revenue from agricultural production.
A farmer lays out harvested corn cobs on the ground to sun dry in Albu Efan village south west of Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad November 5, 2007.     REUTERS/Mohanned Faisal  (IRAQ) - RTR1VOGU
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BAGHDAD — On Oct. 23, the Iraqi parliament’s agricultural committee reported that Iraq imports more than 75% of its vegetables and animal products. Meanwhile, agriculture experts conducted a study that they presented to the Cabinet on Oct. 22, calling for organizing agricultural licensing rounds to save the agricultural sector from its miserable situation and putting an end to the foreign currency pullout by inviting foreign companies to invest in agricultural land.

On July 19, the Ministry of Agriculture estimated the cultivated land in the country for 2015 at nearly 6 million acres, while the overall arable land is 52 million acres. Agriculture contributes about 7% to the gross domestic product (GDP), which has reached, according to the World Bank, $168.6 billion; this is considered to be a very low percentage, especially since Iraq is classified as an agricultural, oil-rich country.

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