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Daily Trust/allAfrica.com, GlobalPost Examine Agricultural Production, Food Insecurity In Nigeria, Iraq

The Daily Trust/allAfrica.com examines food security in Nigeria. Despite its agricultural potential, the “food crisis” in Nigeria “poses a big question as to what is responsible for the insecurity in food production, preservation and storage,” according to the newspaper. A government committee recently toured the country in an effort to address some of the problems involved with agricultural production and food insecurity.

The article includes information about the situation in six states: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe. Abandoned projects, underutilized resources and bureaucratic challenges are some of the reasons why agricultural projects in different parts of the country are not reaching their potential output, according to the Daily Trust/allAfrica.com. “Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the report of the senate ad-hoc committee,” writes the Daily Trust/allAfrica.com (Hassan, 7/15). 

GlobalPost examines why, despite its reputation as the “breadbasket of the Middle East,” Iraq has become a “net importer of food for the first time in recent history.” According to the Web site, “decades of war, sanctions and ineffective government policy” are some of the reasons why the country is not producing enough food. “Agriculture experts say that with time and sufficient resources, Iraq’s farms can overcome substantial technical problems. But creating an effective government policy for the nation’s agricultural industry may prove a bigger hurdle,” writes the GlobalPost.

“A USAID study predicts that Iraq will face a major food crisis within a generation unless the government undertakes a significant reallocation of oil revenue to fund imports and food production,” according to the GlobalPost, which writes that although the “decline in the sector began under ineffective socialist farming practices implemented by Saddam Hussein, the real problems came shortly after the first Gulf War.” GlobalPost writes that there might be a “glimmer of hope,” Iraqi farmers could find “success by focusing on niche markets, such as organic food. With limited access to pesticides and chemical fertilizers, many Iraqi date and pomegranate farmers are already producing produce that can easily be certified as organic,” according to Russell Williams, a senior agricultural adviser for the U.S. State Department’s provisional reconstruction team in Diyala Province (Peter, 7/15).