Following several wars and a 13-year embargo by the United Nations, "Gigantic agricultural potential is practically lying fallow," according to the German Agricultural Machinery Assn., VDMA.
In its 2009 Economic Report, VDMA says, "The fertile land between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers has not been assumed to be the 'Garden Eden' for no reason. Approximately one quarter of the Iraqi workforce is working in agriculture today. Their contribution to the gross domestic product ranges between 5 and 10%. Thus, agriculture occupies second place after the petrol sector.
"About one quarter of the 43 million hectares of the country can be used for agriculture. In the south, large parts of this area are threatened by salting. In the north, rainfall has been insufficient for almost two years, which has caused the most serious drought in 10 years."
There report points out that there are already many examples of branch office foundations in Iraq, among them the company Terramar (sale of packaging plants and equipment for food processing) or Big Dutchman (poultry breeding equipment). The company Claas is also being more involved in Iraq again. Case New Holland had more than 2,800 old tractors of its own brand repaired in Iraq by its local importer. The means for this project came from USAID and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition to the repair of models whose production ended a long time ago, training courses for technicians of the Ministry of Agriculture were provided.
In 2007, Iraq bought more than 100 tractors and 30 combines from Indian New Holland production. According to current plans, the reopened agricultural machinery factory in Iskandariya will locally assemble components of tractors of the New Holland brand, which will increase its market share.