“I used to sell 10 tons of grapes a year but this year I have collected only 250 kilograms so who is going to compensate me,” said Rozh Azad, a farmer from the village of Dari in Daquq district south of Kirkuk. “We pay for the losses.”
Azad has 11 donums home to trees of pomegranate, apple, pear yet he has allocated the majority to grapes which has high demand in local market due its nice taste and color since its organic.
“The rain was not enough during winter and the weather is very hot in summer,” Azad said. Temperature has passed 50 Celsius degrees in some baking days of summer in Kirkuk and most of Iraqi provinces following a relatively dry winter.
Tens of Kirkuk farmers are suffering due to current year losses caused by the change in climate in general and particularly absence of adequate rain.
Kirkuk meteorology said total rain in 2021 was only 104mm compared to 283mm in 2020 and 535mm in 2019.
Bahman Wali, a farmer from Daquq, said the hot weather burns the leaves and branches of threes and affects the tree's productivity.
hot weather burns the leaves and branches of threes and affects the tree's productivity
"Less rain makes the trees thirsty in winter and get dry in spring while its time for growth and flowering," Wali added.
Wali's farm includes mainly apricot and black fig. he was planning to expand the green areas in his farm yet climate change and lack of funding suspended his plans.
"Farmers and gardeners need support by the government."
There are 53 farms in Daquq with total area of 130 donums yet only 48 are registered by relevant authorities.
Dana Adel, in charge of vegetarian production in Daquq agriculture office said beside the climate change, the government also was incapable of supporting the farmers with pesticides and fertilizers.
"The problem is in Baghdad which due to economic crisis could not provide a budget for this sector. In the past years, a budges was allocated to support farmers and gardeners, at least pesticides once in two years yet even that is over."
Up to day, no official decision has been taken to compensate farmers for their losses due to absence of adequate rain and raise of temperature.
Farhad Faiq, owner of grapes and pomegranates farm in Kirkuk, said "the outcome of my farm has dropped to half yet we are still determined to work.
Faiq has got 250 trees of pomegranate in his farm.
"Once I take my fruits to the market, people are thirsty for it since it is local and has a special taste and smell, a matter urges me to go on."