Iraq: ‘Dangerous disease’ hits tomato produce

Iraqi farmers have accused parties loyal to Iran of being behind a “dangerous disease” which has hit the country’s tomato produce, Al Khaleej Online reported on Friday.

Social media activists said that the epidemic – which seems to have hit tomato produce in the southeastern city of Basra – has caused thousands of tonnes of tomatoes to turn rotten. Though the reason for the epidemic is still unknown, activists reported that local farmers are accusing parties loyal to Iran of causing the disease.

The tomato disaster comes just months after a similar disaster hit Iraq’s fishing industry. In November, tens of thousands of fish were found dead in the Euphrates River around the Basra area, some 80 kilometres south of Iraqi capital Baghdad. Locals estimated that the crisis caused losses to the tune of “billions of Iraqi dinars”, equivalent to hundreds of thousands of dollars.