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Agricultural investment is one of the pillars of financial sustainability
Samir Nasiri *
The economic crisis and financial challenges currently facing Iraq come for many reasons, the most prominent of which is the accumulated crises during the previous years, which led to the fragility of the Iraqi economy, uncertainty, confusion in vision, loss of methodology, mismanagement of the economy, management and distribution of public money.
Therefore, we note that the decline in oil prices previously and during the Corona pandemic and currently revealed the extent of weakness Which the Iraqi rentier economy suffers from, especially in the non-oil productive sectors, especially the agricultural sector, and this indicates that there is a large gap between interest in the energy sector and the non-oil sectors.
From the analysis it becomes clear that "the agricultural sector in Iraq has not actively contributed to diversifying sources of revenue throughout the previous years, despite the sums allocated to stimulate it, and the objectives of the agricultural initiative have not been achieved in a time of abundant oil revenues.
This is clearly indicated in the World Bank reports and the reports of the Ministry of Planning and also in the diagnosis that The White Paper mechanism reached a sharp decline in the contribution of the agricultural sector to the GDP, despite the efforts made by the Ministry of Agriculture during the years 2019 and 2020, which contributed to achieving self-sufficiency in wheat and some other agricultural crops.
Therefore, from analyzing the reality of the agricultural sector, we stress the need to activate a clear strategy to upgrade non-oil productive sectors consistent with the urgent need to move by diversifying sources of revenue from dependence on oil to dependence on non-oil sectors, and the necessity for there to be strategic interaction and coordination between these vital sectors to achieve Food security on the one hand raises growth rates on the other hand, and enhances resources. " And that the government begins to directly supervise and monitor the implementation of a clear program for this purpose in 2021.
"The agricultural sector suffers from many problems that have become more evident with the decline in oil prices, which were a major factor in the failure of domestic and foreign investment projects, and nothing important was accomplished as a result of the country’s conditions and the lack of a suitable environment for investment, as well as the failure to implement and activate the agricultural policies set forth in the initiative.
For years, the agricultural sector affected the failure to achieve the required development represented by the improvement of the contribution of the agricultural sector to the gross domestic product. Therefore, Iraq’s budget for 2021 should focus on diversifying sources of revenue and increasing revenues for other sectors, including the agricultural sector.
Therefore, we believe the necessity of finding serious solutions in partnership with the private sector in managing the agricultural sector, with the government securing technical capabilities, supplies and fertilizers, focusing on agricultural production (grains, fruits and vegetables) and employing all unemployed graduates of agricultural colleges in agricultural investment projects and including them with a share of the revenues generated from the settlement of agricultural products In order to reach economic and social goals in sustainable development and "achieve financial sustainability," increasing the participation of the private sector has become an imperative, in addition to what the relevant ministries and the governmental and private banking sector contribute to financing the infrastructure construction for promising agricultural projects that enhance the agricultural economy to stand on Present it again and keep pace with the changes taking place on the scene and support economic growth. "
Because it has become urgent, "defining the paths of economic reform must start from the agricultural sector, which possesses the ingredients for rapid and real development. The available lands suitable for agriculture are sufficient to meet the need of twice the population of Iraq, and Iraqi and Arab investors must be encouraged to invest in the agricultural sector in light of the great potential."
It enjoys, and the availability of all the necessary needs for the success of companies wishing to establish projects, either individually or in partnership with investors, and emphasizing that investment in the Iraqi agricultural sector will help achieve food security, raise growth rates and provide more job opportunities.
* An economic and banking advisor
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