Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

March 20, 2010 |  Huma Gupta

I struggle with the privileged status enjoyed by US companies to penetrate the Iraqi markets post-Occupation.  Iraqi agriculture has suffered extensively due to the US-backed sanctions in the 1990s, followed by bombing, instability, and continued lack of access to key agricultural products.  This has led to the extremely high prices of Iraqi agricultural products, and the subsequent dependence on cheaper agricultural imports, for example, from neighboring Syria.  It is also worthy to note that the 1990s era sanctions have STILL NOT BEEN LIFTED!  There is talk to lift these soon, however.

Since Iraqi farmers are in a vulnerable state and desperately need access to agricultural products to improve infrastructure and crop yield at lower prices, US companies will play a foundational role in shaping Iraqi agricultural practices.  And who will these companies be?  Will Monsanto be among them?  Will we see GMO-seed + Monsanto pesticides being exported to Iraq and attack Iraq’s natural biodiversity?

Here is an invite sent from  Darrell A. Upshaw, Public/Private Sector Advisor for USDA/FAS/OCBD in the Trade and Science Capacity Building Div


We cordially invite you to attend the USDA Agribusiness Trade Mission to the Republic of Iraq.

The USDA will sponsor an Agribusiness Trade Mission to the Republic of Iraq, tentatively scheduled for June 6-10, in Baghdad, Iraq.  We have recommended FFAS Under Secretary James Miller lead the Mission to Iraq.

We are looking to attract U.S. businesses who are interested in opening or extending market access opportunities in Iraq.  The formal announcement will be available in the upcoming weeks, as we are awaiting confirmation on the USDA principal who will lead the Mission.  In the meantime, if you or colleagues are interested in this opportunity, please don’t hesitate to contact me as soon as possible and I will provide additional information.

Mission Goal:  The goal of the Iraq Agribusiness Trade Mission is to provide U.S. participants with first-hand market information, access to government decision makers, (more…)

Read Full Post »

March 20, 2010 |  Huma Gupta

Building off of Bernadette’s post on the housing shortage in Iraq, this is an article that focuses specifically on Kurdistan. It has prompted the Kurdistan Regional government to allocate $300 million for subsidized housing projects. They will also be capping housing costs at 48 million dinars (US $40,000). It would be interesting to find out who is designing and building these housing projects. American, European, Arab, or Iraqi contractors?

cost of housing is ‘number one problem’ in kurdistan
niqash | Qassim Khidhir Hamad | thu 04 feb 10

A survey conducted by the Kurdistan Institution for Political Issues (KIPI), released on 13th January, showed that the cost of housing in the region is people’s number one cause for concern. (more…)

Read Full Post »

March 3 2010 | Anita Silva posted at Abitare.it March 1

How Urbanization can be defined and understood in relation to Iraqi Kurdistan?
When we discuss of urbanisation we look at the combination of economic, political and social factors that determine the growth and expansion of cities.  We observe the ways in which these elements interplay, detect which are the main driving forces that produce the physical transformation of space and understand what the role is that people play in shaping their surroundings.
The study of urban development in Kurdistan is very interesting as it is deeply interconnected with its political history.  The past three decades have seen in the Region a rapid expansion of the urban fabric and infrastructure.  Hawler is a striking example in this respect, with an estimated annual population growth of 4,35% the city has boomed from about 90,000 inhabitants in 1965 to an approximate 1,3 million in 2010.  Until mid 1970s the majority of Kurdish population was spread around the villages mainly leading a rural life, occasionally using the cities as vital knots of a larger network.  The 1980s village clearance campaign conducted by the Ba’ath regime and the following wave of destruction during Anfal caused a massive mobilisation of people who were forced out of their lands and either relocated in the mujamma’at in the plains or compelled to move to bigger urban centres.  These events caused a dramatic acceleration in the process of urban growth and shaped the face of contemporary Kurdish territory. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Housing Crunch in Iraq..

With an average of four people per room in some areas, Iraq seems to be leading the pack in household density. While personally I enjoy small houses full of people (they remind me of home!), an average of four folks to a small room is pretty cramped. Steve, a MIT Meydan contributor, plans to return to real estate development in Iraq after graduation – I’m waiting on his comments for illumination. How much does the NYT article reflect reality? How aggressive will developers be? How tough are the planning restrictions?  — Bernadette

Read Full Post »