After good harvest, Kurdish farmers plan to plant rice every year

Villagers plant rice in Nwawa village in the sub-district of Betwata in northwest of Sulaimani, May 2020. (Esta Media Network)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — After a good harvest last year, Kurdish farmer Mam Ibrahim decided to continue with planting rice in his village in the Kurdistan Region’s Betwata sub-district.

Mam Ibrahim, living in Nwawa village in northwest of Sulaimani, says heavy rain and snow in winter have pushed villagers to resume rice planting after 25 years.

Rice is one of the grains that has a high demand in the Kurdistan Region.

Mam Ibrahim further says the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should not only depend on oil as it is not flexible.

The Kurdistan Region is facing an economic crisis due to falling of oil prices, Baghdad’s decision to halt sending salaries of the Region’s civil servants and the coronavirus pandemic. As a large portion of the Region’s revenue relies exclusively on oil exports.

“[The government] should help me,” Mam Ibrahim tells Esta Media Network.

“If the people start farming … Some other people will get jobs, and they won’t be a load on the government and wait for the government” to employ them, he says.

Another farmer who works Mam Ibrahim says their rice is organic because they don’t use any kind of chemicals.

“No other chemicals have been used in it as the other rice sold in markets … You cannot give certainty about [the rice in markets]. But you are certain this is our rice and has no problem,” he says.

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