|Visiting the farm
|The river Zab behind the trees
|Empty Poultry houses &;Brown field behind
As the government’s adviser for agriculture. I made the recommendation that the farmer’s rights should be upheld and this fertile, prime agricultural land remained in agricultural use and that the brown field site could be used for industrial development. This "development" on the bank of the river will polute the river Zab extensively.
However the Director of Agriculture in the district where this farm is located supported the developer’s claim for the land stating that the farmland had a garage on it! The ‘garage’ is the open depot where the agricultural machinery that is hired by the surrounding farms is kept! How can tractors, harvesters, sprayers etc. rank alongside garages for cars! What is present on this farm is a resource of machinery that is vital to local farmers who cannot afford to own the equipment they need access to. Such a facility should be welcomed by any self respecting agriculturist and the farmer should be applauded for providing it.
It is unbelievable that:
- A productive farm will be taken away from the farmer who owns it and a business man is allowed to build a ceramic factory on its wheat fields,
- Eleven families are made homeless and lose their livelihood,
- Air pollution, ground and water pollution can all occur in the vicinity of ceramic factory. The web sites full of example for such pollution all over the world.
- Heavy polution to the river Zab which feed the Tigris river.
- Access to the loan of vital agricultural machinery is lost to other farmers in the district.
- Lack of raw material for ceramic factories has led to closure of most of these factories in Iraq. It does not make sense to start another on the bank of Zab river.
I have supported the fight against land grabbing throughout the world for many years now and added my voice to those that support the cause of the small farmer against those foreign investors who want to take the land from those whose existence depends on it. Now I am trying to stop land grabbing on my own doorstep here in Kurdistan where someone with money wants to take away the land from farming families. It would be immoral and a travesty of human rights if these families have their livlihood snatched away from them.