Value chain and agri-business development training in Iraq

HollandDoor and ZOA are jointly implementing a Nuffic-funded program called “Enhancing the knowledge and skills of extension workers and farmers in efficient irrigation and climate-smart agriculture in Anbar Governorate – Iraq”. This program comprises several training activities and backstopping and coaching missions conducted by HollandDoor consultants in the field in Anbar Governorate, Iraq.


In addition to an infrastructure devastated by war and still plagued by security issues, farmers still face many other challenges. For example, produce from Iraq has to compete with cheap, good-quality fruit and vegetables from neighboring countries. Indeed, at wholesale markets and in shops in Iraq, the quality, packaging, and presentation of imported fruits, especially from Iran and Turkey, is better and less expensive than domestic produce.


Experts from HollandDoor, ZOA, and Al-Khiamiat Organization for Agricultural Development and Instruction conducted a five-day training program in Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar, from 19 to 23 September 2021 for staff of the irrigation and agriculture departments. The training covered the following topics: 


  1. Pre- and post-harvest handling and product quality. Improved and efficient pre- and post-harvest handling are the first steps towards increasing food security and reducing waste in supply chains. The training program introduced various methods for reducing waste, maintaining product quality, preservation, packaging, logistics, and cooling to participants and provided a platform to discuss these issues.
  2. Value chain and agri-business development. Integrating better production techniques and post-harvest management and strengthening the collective marketing of fruits and vegetables will increase the competitiveness of products from Iraq. This part of the program discussed opportunities for improving value chains and explored new domestic and regional export markets. Other topics included the economic analysis of agri-business cases and value chains and the importance of organizing farmers in Farmer Marketing and Producer Groups.


Throughout the training, participants worked in small groups on their own agri-business cases and value chains for products grown in Anbar such as dates, olives, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes. The results of this assignment were presented on the last day of the training. The organizers are confident that participants and their colleagues will implement parts of these business plans together with farmers in Anbar in the near future. HollandDoor, ZOA, and Al-Khiamiat experts will provide “hands-on” support to government staff and farmers in Anbar Governorate within the framework of the Nuffic training program in the coming period. These activities will eventually make the horticultural sector in Iraq more competitive and resilient to climate change.


For more information please contact Geerten van der Lugt.