BAGHDAD - From greenhouses to pesticides, fertilizers and vaccines, China’s advanced equipment and technologies have made a qualitative leap for Iraqi agriculture in Salahuddin province.

After experiencing wars and sanctions, the agricultural sector in Iraq deteriorated significantly and some farmers abandoned their farms because of the shortage of agricultural supplies and the absence of laws to protect national products against imports from neighboring countries.

Iraq’s openness after the U.S. occupation and the lifting of economic sanctions redrew the country’s agricultural industry based on the modern technologies available in international markets, including Chinese markets.

“The first option to boost agriculture in Salahuddin province was to go to China to benefit from the advanced agricultural technologies,” Safi Mahmoud al-Tikriti, a hardware, fertilizer and agricultural technology dealer in Tikrit of Salahuddin province, told Xinhua.

“The Chinese equipment that was put in the markets of Salahuddin province has received unprecedented popularity from the farmers,” al-Tikriti added.

The dealer said that many Iraqi farmers bought Chinese equipment because of the “low prices, high quality and advanced technology, which is one of the most advanced technologies in the world.”

Al-Tikriti estimated the volume of dealing in agricultural supplies in Salahuddin province to be more than 20 million U.S. dollars annually.

Khalid Abdullah Hussein, agricultural engineer, said that the agricultural equipment of China has contributed effectively to expanding the cultivated area in Salahuddin to more than 400 percent and increasing production by more than 60 percent.

“China’s excellent equipment allows farmers to control the irrigation level, its kind and the appropriate timing that benefits the plants, as well as the delivery and application of compost when needed,” he added.

“Chinese equipment also contributed to reducing labor by using machines that spray pesticides, vaccines and fertilizer ... and improving the quality as well as the quantity of agricultural production,” the agricultural engineer said.

Saif Hussein, a farmer, said that modern Chinese agricultural technologies have made an effective contribution to increasing the productivity of different agricultural crops.

Hussein hoped that Iraqi traders are moving towards bringing more Chinese agricultural equipment from authentic sources to avoid the unauthentic ones.

“One of my relatives who lives in the province of Kirkuk has bought modern Chinese equipment, which helped him to increase production with less efforts, leading many of the villagers to buy some of the equipment as well,” Hussein said.

He asserted that modern Chinese technology began to spread not only in Salahuddin province, but also in the rest of the country.