Saturday, February 27, 2016

Things Iraq, middle-Eastern wheat politics

Yellow is Sunni, Green is Shiia.  Blue is ethnic Kurd.  Baghdad is in the middle of the Sunni-Shiia frontier.   Map from VOX.
Map of ISIS controlled regions from Geopolitics.RO.
The actual territories held by ISIS/ISIL/Daesh are much more discontinuous than portrayed by this map.

Agricultural land use in Iraq.  Source
Iraq per capita wheat production, pounds of wheat/person/year.  This is the profile of a country struggling to feed itself.

Mid-East soil moisture estimates.
A close-up. The Kurds have a lock on northern Iraq.  The Shiia control most of the well watered areas east of Baghdad and into Iran.  Israel dominates most of the well-watered sliver along the Mediterranean sea.
The politics of food have the ISIS pushing hard to control north and east of their current areas.  They currently control some highly fertile irrigated areas but those areas are dependent on technology and pesticides to continue producing at high levels.

ISIS also controls the southern portions of the Kurdish wheat producing areas.  Those areas have been blessed with exceptional rains this year and should yield well this year....if the farmers can get out and work those fields.

The four horsemen of the Apocalypse ride together.  War brings pestilence because refugees are packed together and lack the basic means for hygiene.  War brings famine because farmers do not feel safe working their fields.

Bonus chart

Pounds of wheat per person per year, Syria

1 comment:

  1. Food will be the true driver... If people can't harvest, they will leave to find food. Once that spiral starts, the country is done for. (See Cambodia under Pol Pot & Khmer Rouge)


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