In this file photo taken on June 06, 2018 Iraqi children move around in a boat in the Mishkhab region, some twenty-five kilometers from Najaf, on June 6, 2018. AFP / Haidar HAMDANI
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Iraq's amber rice crop devastated by droughtStanding on his farm in southern Iraq, Amjad al-Kazaali gazed sorrowfully over fields where rice has been sown for centuries – but which now lie bare for lack of water. For the first time, this season Kazaali has not planted the treasured amber rice local to Diwaniyah province. More than 70 percent of the amber crop is grown in Diwaniyah and neighboring Najaf province, and in total, the variety makes up over a third of the 100,000 tons of rice grown in Iraq every year.Iraq's Agriculture Ministry had planned for 350,000 hectares of crops this season, including staples such as rice and corn, spokesman Hamid al-Naef said.
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