Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)


The economics of cotton production in Iraq and some other Arab countries

Author(s): Raad Jaafar Hussein

Human being has known cotton and used it to make clothes and other daily needs for a long time. Archaeological discoveries have indicated that cotton textiles were found buried underground in India more than three thousand years ago. Scientists in Peru in South America found samples of cotton fabrics dating back to more than 2500 years, cotton tissues were also found in the upper Nile River, southern Sudan, dating back to about 500 BC. Cotton was planted on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers at the beginning of Islam, and the spinning and weaving industry was famous throughout Iraq and was exported to the markets of the West, where it was known as “Muselleni” in relation to the city of Mosul. Now days, the quantity of production for the year 2020 did not exceed 60 tons, with a cultivated area not exceeding 220 acres. According to the data of the Directorate of Agricultural Statistics / Crop Production Report (Cotton, Maize, Potato) in 2010, Kirkuk governorate ranked first among the governorates of Iraq in the cultivated area and the amount of production, which amounted to 72,536 dunums and 41,233 tons, respectively, which represents 88.16% of the cultivated area and 91.07% of the total production amount in Iraq. The deterioration in production and area is attributed to many reasons, including the high costs of the requirements for cotton cultivation and its manufacture, and the lack of clear support from successive governments for farmers to continue cultivating this important cash crop. In addition, people are being reluctance to buy cotton products that are characterized by high prices and replace them with textile products similar to cotton. Imported from abroad, this is characterized by reasonable prices. By analyzing the data on cotton production in Iraq, it was found that the area planted with this crop can be expected in the future according to the following equation: Y = e^((8.89 + (0.563 * x))) ln(Y) = 8.89 + (0.563 * x) As for the quantity of production, it can be expected in the future according to the following equation: Y = 498.806 + (-166.553 * ln(x)) On the Arab level, the situation is not much different from Iraq. After Egypt was at the forefront of the Arab countries producing this crop, which is known globally for its quality in terms of staple length and quality, its cultivation took a decline in terms of the cultivated area and the amount of production, so that Syria ranked first in the Arab world with 441.4 tons, followed by Sudan which ranked second in the Arab world, with 115.2 thousand tons, and Egypt ranked third with 112.2, according to the Yearbook of Arab Agricultural Statistics, Volume 38, with the continued decline in production for the coming years for the various Arab countries producing the cotton crop.

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