|Data from HERE. Many "peak oil" writers use the 1900 census figures as a reasonable proxy for the carrying capacity of a country deprived of the agricultural and logistical benefits of modern technology. If so, Iraq overshot its carrying capacity by a factor of 15.|
From the UN Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Link)
Domestic agricultural production - already affected by reduced rainfall (2009) - has also been hit by a lack of government support and lax controls on cheap food imports, with which farmers cannot compete in some cases, she said.
On 31 August, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Iraq had its worst cereal harvest in a decade and that its wheat harvest was set to fall to one million tonnes, from an average of 3.5 million tonnes per annum over the past decade. Domestic rice production also fell from an average 500,000 tons a year to an estimated 250,000 tons this year.
Iraq imports more than 80 percent of its food needs, al-Mousawi told IRIN.
It must be noted that it is difficult to work in the fields when under rifle fire or when you fear that you will come back to your home only to find that it has been pillaged by the other side.
|Map from HERE. Corner of Iraq nipped by key is desert and is very sparsely populated.|