Iraq is in a food crisis thanks to ISIS

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Iraq is in a food crisis thanks to ISIS

Post by Ben Reilly on Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:07 pm

Sami Yuhanna was making a decent living as a wheat farmer until a jihadist put a gun to his head and declared his land in Iraq's Nineveh province the property of Islamic State.

An army offensive has cleared the militants from the eastern half of the provincial capital, Mosul, and nearby towns and villages like Qaraqosh, home to Yuhanna's fields.

But the terror and mismanagement that characterized their two-year rule after seizing Iraq's agriculture heartland has devastated farmers and exacerbated the country’s food security problem.

Yuhanna, who used to sell about 100 tonnes of wheat per year, now lives in a small trailer and drives a taxi in the Kurdish capital of Erbil to barely survive. He is still haunted by the day armed militants arrived.

"They just took over everything I owned," he said.

Farmers fear the agriculture sector could take years to recover, with tractors missing, unexploded mines in the fields and farm compounds damaged by airstrikes on the militants, who sold commodities like wheat to finance their operations.

Nineveh was Iraq's most productive farming region before the arrival of Islamic State, producing around 1.5 million tonnes of wheat a year, or about 21 percent of Iraq's total wheat output, and 32 percent of barley.

An estimated 70 percent of farmers fled when Islamic State took over, and those who stayed -- either to join the movement or out of fear -- faced heavy taxation.

As a Christian, Yuhanna was particularly vulnerable to the Sunni extremists, who tried to build a self-sustaining caliphate and killed anyone opposed to their radical ideas.  

"The people that turned on me we were all from this area. I knew every one of them. They joined Daesh," said Yuhanna, using an acronym for the group.

Reuters was not able to obtain official figures for agricultural output during Islamic State rule because the government had no access to areas under jihadist control.

Haider al-Abbadi, head of the General Union of Farmers Cooperatives, told Reuters in a telephone interview that he estimated output fell to around 300,000 tonnes, based on accounts of how much of the grain farmers had sold.

"Islamic State used to surround farmers in general and prevent them from going out into the fields and farming their land because they were scared they would escape or that they would go and join the government forces," Abbadi said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-agriculture-idUSKBN15S1XR

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Re: Iraq is in a food crisis thanks to ISIS

Post by The Devil, You Know on Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:09 pm

Ben Reilly wrote:
Sami Yuhanna was making a decent living as a wheat farmer until a jihadist put a gun to his head and declared his land in Iraq's Nineveh province the property of Islamic State.

An army offensive has cleared the militants from the eastern half of the provincial capital, Mosul, and nearby towns and villages like Qaraqosh, home to Yuhanna's fields.

But the terror and mismanagement that characterized their two-year rule after seizing Iraq's agriculture heartland has devastated farmers and exacerbated the country’s food security problem.

Yuhanna, who used to sell about 100 tonnes of wheat per year, now lives in a small trailer and drives a taxi in the Kurdish capital of Erbil to barely survive. He is still haunted by the day armed militants arrived.

"They just took over everything I owned," he said.

Farmers fear the agriculture sector could take years to recover, with tractors missing, unexploded mines in the fields and farm compounds damaged by airstrikes on the militants, who sold commodities like wheat to finance their operations.

Nineveh was Iraq's most productive farming region before the arrival of Islamic State, producing around 1.5 million tonnes of wheat a year, or about 21 percent of Iraq's total wheat output, and 32 percent of barley.

An estimated 70 percent of farmers fled when Islamic State took over, and those who stayed -- either to join the movement or out of fear -- faced heavy taxation.

As a Christian, Yuhanna was particularly vulnerable to the Sunni extremists, who tried to build a self-sustaining caliphate and killed anyone opposed to their radical ideas.  

"The people that turned on me we were all from this area. I knew every one of them. They joined Daesh," said Yuhanna, using an acronym for the group.

Reuters was not able to obtain official figures for agricultural output during Islamic State rule because the government had no access to areas under jihadist control.

Haider al-Abbadi, head of the General Union of Farmers Cooperatives, told Reuters in a telephone interview that he estimated output fell to around 300,000 tonnes, based on accounts of how much of the grain farmers had sold.

"Islamic State used to surround farmers in general and prevent them from going out into the fields and farming their land because they were scared they would escape or that they would go and join the government forces," Abbadi said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-agriculture-idUSKBN15S1XR

"Maniacs with power don't tend to think things through." -- Kim Kardashian
yeah but she was talking about kanye

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Re: Iraq is in a food crisis thanks to ISIS

Post by Ben Reilly on Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:12 pm

It's a universal truth! But just to be totally clear, I made that quote up and then attributed it to someone really dumb as to emphasize how obvious it is.

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Re: Iraq is in a food crisis thanks to ISIS

Post by eddie on Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:14 pm

Ben Reilly wrote:It's a universal truth! But just to be totally clear, I made that quote up and then attributed it to someone really dumb as to emphasize how obvious it is.

S'pretty cool Bruv. Cool

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