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Tag: agriculture cartel

Control by seed

To the rest of the world, Abu Ghraib is associated with inhuman torture, incarceration without trial and arrogant US unilateralism. To the farmers of Iraq, Abu Ghraib was better known for the national seed gene bank, started in the early 70s. In fact, Iraq?s most well-known wheat variety is known as ?Abu Ghraib?. The country precious heritage is now all but lost.
Facing the same unsolicited adversary, Syria is under a similar threat. The Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) is situated there and still holds remaining samples of Iraq?s threatened seeds. It is worrying because the planned destruction of Iraq?s agriculture is not widely known. Modern Iraq is part of the ?fertile crescent? of Mesopotamia where man first domesticated wheat between 8,000 and 13,000 years ago, and home to several thousand varieties of local wheat. As soon as the US took over Iraq, it became clear its interests were not limited to oil. In 2004, Paul Bremer, the then military head of the Provisional Authority imposed as many as a hundred laws which made short work of Iraq?s sovereignty.