Diyala (IraqiNews.com) Wheat plantations in Iraq provinces of Diyala and Salahuddin are hit with a wave of mysterious fires as the country recently predicted a rebound in production, prompting farmers to go on night watches, according to local media.
Alsumaria News reported that the farmers were organizing night watches after the recent fires had eaten large portions of their farmlands in the towns of Jalawla, Maqdadiah and Qurra Tabba. It quoted an unnamed local official saying that while the farmers decry an absence of security authorities role in the issue, security point fingers to Islamic State extremists, admitting, in the same time, their inability to cover so big parts of lands.
Jassem Jabbara, an member of parliament, was quoted by Alsumaria News demanding compensations for the farmers and providing security protection for the plantations.
Iraq predicted in March its local wheat production to double to 4 million tons as rainfall frequency improved at areas out of the cultivation plans. That came after Iraq, a major rain importer, suffered severe water shortages over the past year, which prompted authorities to ban the cultivation of rice and other water-consumptive grains.
Iraq’s wheat production stood at 2.71 million tons in 2018. The government said recently it had purchased 883.000 tons of wheat from local farmers in nine provinces.