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Back to: The Soils of War

The 2008 Landgrab for Food and Financial Security

Barcelona, Spain


1 - Najib Khelwatgar and Ahmad Qurishi, “Afghan Army open fire on Shindand pro-testers, Karzai worried”, PAN, 23 August 2008:

2 - A US Special Forces civil affairs team leader, quoted in Anna Perry, “Afghan Agricultural Center Contributes to Better Security”, American Forces Press Service, 3 July 2008.

3 - To get a sense of the nature and extent of Chemonics’ interventions, see “Rebuilding Agricultural Markets Program (RAMP) Afghanistan: Fiscal Year 2006 Work Plan.

Among the USAID partners in this is the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE – See also “Windfalls of War: US contractors in Afghanistan & Iraq”, on the website of The Center for Public Integrity.

4 - See “Chemonics International”, Washington Post, Post 200 – Top DC area businesses,

5 - “Chemonics announces scholarship at Afghan AgFair”, Chemonics’ website, 20 February 2009,

6 - Chemonics International Inc., “Lashkar Gah Bost Airport and Agriculture Center, Helmand Province, Afghanistan: Environmental Assessment”, October 2008.

7 - USAID: Afghanistan, “Provincial Reconstruction Teams”,

8 - Quoted in Army Staff Sgt Jon Soucy, “Missouri Guard’s Agricultural Mission Grows in Afghanistan”, American Forces Press Service, 23 December 2008,

9 - See ICARDA’s web page about the FHCRAA,

10 - J. Dennis, A. Diab and P. Trutmann, “The Planning of Emergency Seed Supply for Afghanistan in 2002 and Beyond”, a draft concept paper prepared for the Tashkent Conference, 2002, http://

11 - FAO Newsroom, “Code of conduct on seeds for Afghanistan reached”, 30 May 2002,

12 - See also ICARDA website’s “Seed for Afghanistan” section,
13 - GRAIN, “Seed laws: imposing agricultural apartheid”, Seedling, June 2005,

14 - National Seeds Policy of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, 2005 (emphasis added).

15 - A copy of the final draft of the Afghanistan Seed Law (August 2006) can be downloaded from

16 - AfghanMania, “Private Seed Enterprise opens in Bamyan”, 21 August 2006,

17 - SeedQuest, news section, “Message from the President of the newly formed ANSA”, 24 October 2008,

18 - Jim Landers, “Texas troops combat Afghan insurgents with farming plan”, Dallas Morning News, 1 February 2009,

19 - See Suleiman Al-Khalidi, “Iraq buys 200,000 t of Russian wheat from Glencore”, arabian, 25 September 2008,

20 - Policy Archive, “Iraq Agriculture and Food Supply: Background and Issues”, June 2004,

21 - Cargill, the biggest global trader of agricultural commodities, is a multinational corporation registered in the US,

22 - See “Iraq’s Closed Factories,” The Ground Truth in Iraq (blog), 15 January 2009,

Bassam Yousif, “Economic restructuring in Iraq: intended and unintended consequences”, Journal of Economic Issues, March 2007,

23 - “More than 90% of Iraqi industries are halted”,, 10 January 2009:

24 - Focus on the Global South and GRAIN, Against the grain, “Iraq’s new patent law: A declaration of war against farmers”, October 2004,

25 - See DAI – Projects: ARDI, “Revitalizing Iraq’s agricultural sector”, n.d.
26 - It should be noted that since the invasion the US has sought to dismantle former public programmes which provided subsidised inputs, including seeds, to Iraqi farmers, and that the provision of seeds by US forces is seen as a temporary measure before a “free-market” seed system takes over.

27 - These are FAO figures, available from FAOSTAT.

28 - Robert Looney, “Neoliberalism in a Conflict State: The Viability of Economic Shock Therapy in Iraq”, Strategic Insights, Vol. III, No. 6, June 2004,

29 - See Rich Magnani and Sawsan Al-Sharifi, “Reform and Rehabilitation of Iraq’s agricultural sector: The case of the Iraqi wheat sector”, USAID-Iraq, 2005, and

See also “Iraq Private Sector Growth and Employment Generation -- The Potential for Food Process-ing in Iraq”, USAID-Iraq, 15 March 2006,

30 - See the annexes to The International Compact with Iraq: Annual Review, May 2007--April 2008, which show progress against benchmarks,

31 - “Inma” means “growth” in Arabic. The Program’s website can be found at

32 - “Izdihar” means “prosperity” in Arabic. The Program’s website can be found at

33 - USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Information Management Unit, “Iraq Agriculture and Irrigation Overview,” July 2008,

34 - US embassy, Baghdad, press release, “Fact sheet on Provincial Reconstruction Teams”, 17 December 2007,

35 - According to “USIP’s Missions and Goals” as described on the institute’s website. See

36 - Doreen Muzzi, “Iraq trade deal pleases rice industry”, Farm Press, 13 March 2004,

37 - Rusty Barber and Sam Parker, “Evaluating Iraq’s Provincial Reconstruction Teams While Drawdown Looms: A USIP Trip Report”, USIPeace Briefing, December 2008,

38 - Tom Shanker “Campaign promises on ending war in Iraq now muted”, New York Times, 3 December 2008,
(The Pentagon is the military headquarters of the US Department of Defense.)

39 - Gareth Porter, “How Obama Lost Control of Iraq Policy”, Agence Global, 2 January 2009,

40 - See Erik LeDrew, “Artillery Troopers Plant Seeds of Reconstruction in Iraq”, US Dept. of Defense, Defend America, October 2004,

See also Michael Molinaro, “For Jiff Jaffa farmers, democracy and fertilizer go hand in hand”, Operation Iraqi Freedom: Official Website of Multi-National Force -- Iraq, 13 September 2006,

See also Michael Molinaro, “Farmers in Iraq Hold Elections to Select Board”, US Department of Defense, Defend America, 18 August 2006,

41 - “AFRICOM: The Militarization of U.S.-Africa Policy Revealed”, Africa Action, 6 February 2008, and Karen DeYoung, “U.S. Africa Command Trims Its Aspirations”, Washington Post, 1 June 2008,

42 - Beth Tuckey, “Congress Challenges AFRICOM,” Foreign Policy in Focus, 23 July 2008,

43 - Ibid.

44 - ActionAid International, Real Aid – An Agenda for Making Aid Work, June 2005,

Published in In Motion Magazine March 19, 2009