GIEWS Country Brief: Iraq 11-June-2021

News and Press Release
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• Drought-induced widespread crop failure in Ninewa Governorate, halved production in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

• Decreased cereal production expected to cause loss of income, soaring feed prices and increased import requirements

• About 4.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance

Drought affected rainfed areas in north

The cereal harvest, which started in the southern part of the country in April, is proceeding northwards and will conclude in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in July.
Across the country, the first substantial rainfall of the season in November 2020 facilitated sowing activities that were completed by mid-December and early crop prospects were relatively promising. In central and southern parts of the country, where crops require supplementary irrigation, the season proceeded under reasonably favourable conditions and the development of cereal crops, despite above-average temperatures, was satisfactory. In northern parts of the country, sporadic and insufficient precipitation in Ninewa Governorate as well as portions of northeastern Dahuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Salah Al Din provinces, affected conditions of mainly rainfed winter cereals. Rainfall in March and early April, which would have been critical to saving the crops, did not materialize. In May, extreme temperatures (35-40°C) further reduced the already meagre yield prospects for winter grains in drought-affected areas. Details on the drought are discussed in the GIEWS Update.