Agriculture


Video: Iran “Reduces Water Supply” over Iraqi Kurd Vote

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

While Iraq has taken measures against its semi-autonomous Kurdish region for last month’s secession vote, Kurdish farmers say they’re also being punished by neighbouring Iran.

They say Tehran has stemmed the flow of water to border towns.

Al Jazeera‘s Hoda Abdel-Hamid reports from Qaladze, near the Iraq-Iran border:

In Basra, Fighting Rising Temperatures With Trees

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

To fight climate change in Basra, where summer temperatures now regularly rise to over 50 degrees Centigrade, locals plan to plant 16 million trees. The volunteers are on course for 1 million in 2017.

In the southern Iraqi city of Basra, locals are taking matters into their own hands to fight climate change. “In recent years temperatures in Basra have exceeded 50 degrees Centigrade,” explains Alaa Hashim al-Badran, head of the union of agricultural engineers in Basra. “And that is dangerous.”

The ramifications of ongoing climate change mean that the city and its inhabitants may face even higher temperatures in the future. To try and ameliorate the impact, locals have started planting trees. They intend to have planted a million of them shortly, and 16 million in the next few years.

Al-Badran says the idea for a tree-planting campaign was first suggested in the middle of the year and has since progressed rapidly. There are a hundred volunteers and over 15,000 supporters online, he notes, and in the near future, there should be even more people involved.

Citing the example of successful tree planting in Gulf Arab countries, al-Badran and his colleagues believe this may be one of the only ways to prevent Basra from deadly over-heating.

 

 

“Over the next few years we plan to plant 16 million trees here,” he told NIQASH. “The first phase starts in September and goes until mid-November. Then we will start again in mid-February and carry on until mid-April next year. The first objective is to plant 1 million trees.”

Iraqi Farmers fight against Imported Goods, Corruption

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

The Tureibil crossing, or more commonly known as the Karameh border crossing, between Jordan and Iraq reopened in early September in tandem with the opening of another border crossing with Saudi Arabia. This means that more foreign goods are likely to flow into the Iraqi market, which already lacks national products, especially food and agricultural goods.

The prospects for increased imports, which is not good news for the local production industry in Iraq, prompted parliament’s Agriculture, Water and Marshlands Committee on Aug. 14 to accuse the Ministry of Agriculture of mismanagement and confusion in supporting these foreign goods, which caused the local market to become flooded with imported products.

Mohammed Mansouri, an expert on local livestock, warns against “a catastrophe in the sector of livestock and agriculture in Iraq,” urging the government to work “on achieving food security.”

However, the failure of agricultural projects in Iraq is not only the result of poor planning and management, but also a “corrupt agenda seeking to keep this sector lagging so as to continue relying on imports,” said Ali al-Badiri, a member of the Agriculture, Water and Marshlands Committee, in a media statement Aug. 24. “Impeding the cultivation of wheat crops is a conspiracy, as this cultivation has become a threat to the investments of the corrupted,” he said.

In the same vein, Suhaila Abbas, the head of the Agriculture Committee of the Babil Governorate Council, told Al-Monitor, “Linking food security to importation is not due to technical problems such as drought or the rudimentary irrigation and land treatments techniques, as these can be addressed through development plans. This is, however, due to political reasons. Many of Iraq’s neighbors have an interest in keeping Iraq unable to become self-sufficient in terms of food, so it continues importing food products.”

New Partnership to Revitalise Smallholder Agriculture

In an important step toward financing its first post-war agricultural investment project in Iraq, the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) met with a high-level Iraqi delegation in Rome last week.

The project will target 20,000 rural households in the poorest southern governorates of Missan, Thi Qar, Qadissiyah and Muthana.

The delegation was welcomed by Khalida Bouzar (pictured), IFAD’s Director for the Near East, North Africa and Europe, along with her team from the regional Division.

Bouzar said:

The rationale for the current project stems from the fragility of Iraq and IFAD’s commitment to assist countries with fragile situations. IFAD has significant experience in areas in which the Government of Iraq needs assistance, such as agriculture and rural development.

“Investment in agricultural growth is not only important to growth in national income, but is also vital to growth in employment, food and nutrition security and reduction of poverty in Iraq.

“This will be an example of the stronger and more efficient collaboration that characterizes the renewed partnership between IFAD and Iraq’s government.

Iraqi Ambassador Ahmed A.H. Bamarni thanked IFAD for its promptness in creating the project, and said that he believed the project would directly support the Iraqi government’s reconstruction efforts following years of conflict.

Implemented by the Iraqi ministries of agriculture, water resources and environment, the new project will enhance resilience to climate change as well as improve the productivity and profitability of small-scale crop and livestock producers by providing access to finance, technologies and remunerative markets.

The meeting between IFAD and Iraqi officials follows an initial high-level meeting held in Jordan in October 2016 where participants developed the first strategic roadmap for investment in smallholder agriculture and rural development in Iraq.

It set the stage for identifying the priorities for IFAD’s engagement in Iraq, including the main strategic objectives, as well as the framework for the first ever IFAD investment in the country.

(Source: IFAD)

Cherkizovo Group Receives Permission to Export to Iraq

By John Lee.

PJSC Cherkizovo Group, the largest vertically integrated meat and feed producer in Russia, today announces that its Vasilyevskaya poultry production facility has received permission to export poultry products to Iraq.

The Vasilyevskaya poultry farm, which is Cherkizovo Group’s largest poultry production facility, was granted the right to export to Iraq. The permit was issued by the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture in August 2017.

A key requirement for the export of poultry meat to Iraq is the observance of halal – a set of rules in the Islamic religious tradition that sets strict guidelines for the slaughter of animals.

The slaughter facilities at the Vasilyevskaya poultry farm comply with these rules, according to certification from the Halal International Centre for Standardisation and Certification of the Council of Muftis of Russia. The Group’s halal products are produced under the brands “Latifa” and “Dajajti” and are intended both for export as well as for meeting the domestic demand for these products.

The Vasilievskaya poultry farm is located in Bessonovsky district of Penza region. The enterprise was founded in 1978, and in 1998 it joined Cherkizovo Group. Today, it is the largest poultry factory in the Group and one of the highest capacity poultry producing facilities in Russia.

Obtaining the right to export products to Iraq is a significant step in the development of the Group’s export potential. Exports increasingly important for the Group in current market conditions. Iraq is one of the largest markets in the Middle East. The requirements for imported poultry meat are very strict. Cherkizovo Group products today meet the most stringent international requirements for biosafety. The Group has already received permits to export to Egypt, the UAE, Tanzania and the EU.

(Source: PJSC Cherkizovo Group)

Kurdish Farmers call out Foul Play by Importers

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In Iraqi Kurdistan, poultry farmers are calling for tariffs on chicken products imported to the region. Otherwise, they say, the local industry won’t survive.

Poultry farmers in the northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan are pondering a strange problem. While a large quantity of Iraqi Kurdish poultry products is exported and sold in other parts of Iraq, a large quantity is also imported – and Iraqi Kurdish chicken farmers say they cannot compete with the international imports, flooding their market at lower prices.

“It’s a simple enough deal,” says Sarhad Hama, who owns a large chicken farm near Halabja. “Local production is not enough to meet the demands of the region. But Kurdistan also depends on imported products, so we need to export our own goods to central and southern Iraq.

At the same time imported poultry products are putting pressure on local producers. Official statistics indicate that every local in Iraqi Kurdistan consumes around 25 kilograms of chicken per year. The local government says there are 350 different poultry farms in the region, producing tonnes of chicken a day.

“If we estimate that there are about 5 million people in Iraqi Kurdistan and that each of them consumes 25 kilograms of chicken a year, then we would need 125,000 tonnes of chicken annually,” says Jamal Shukri, of the local Ministry of Agriculture. “But that exceeds the maximum locals can produce, which is why we allow imports of poultry.”

Some locals say that the local product tends to be of higher quality but the imported goods are popular because they are usually sold at lower prices.

As IDPs Leave Kurdistan, Gap in Agri Labour Market Grows

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Displaced Arabs who fled to Iraqi Kurdistan were a boon for village-dwelling farmers. The farmers, who paid low wages to desperate displaced for three years, are now at a loss.

Over the past three years, Kurdish local Ali Rahim’s business has been flourishing. Although the 55-year-old left his village, Diwanah, in the Darbandikhan district in Sulaymaniyah province, in 2003, he continued to keep sheep back home. It was always difficult to make ends meet with the livestock – up until recently.

Over the past three years Rahim has been able to hire Arab families, displaced by the security crisis caused by the extremist Islamic State group, to help him farm.

Both parties benefitted, he says. Rahim did not have to pay very high wages – around IQD300 (US$ 0.25) – because the families were happy to do the job in exchange for lower pay and accommodation. Five different families have looked after Rahim’s sheep since the security crisis began in 2014 and Rahim made good money in part because the wages were so low.

However now that the Islamic State, or IS, group has been driven out of many parts of Iraq, those Arab families have started to return home – leaving Rahim with a lack of labour willing to work for so little.

Ever since Arab families started to arrive in the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan, seeking the comparative safety the region could offer, their presence has been controversial. Locals have complained that the influx of displaced Iraqis was a burden on the regional infrastructure, that they were consuming water, power and health supplies.

Iraq buys 50,000 Tonnes Australian Wheat

By John Lee.

Iraq reportedly bought 50,000 tonnes wheat from Australia on Sunday at $312.50 a tonne c&f free out.

The tender, which  closed on 31st July, was open to wheat from the United States, Canada or Australia.

According to Reuters‘ sources. wheat from the United States was offered lowest at $299.19 a tonne c&f free out, and there were no offers for Canadian wheat.

(Source: Reuters)

Ratba’a Contracting joins IBBC, seeks JVs with UK Firms

Ratba’a Contracting Company has just joined the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

Ratba’a is an Iraqi Company based in Basra and Baghdad and is owned by Haj Aboud Al Khlaidy & Sons Group.

The group works to deliver projects in key sectors such as oil and gas (currently Shell, Petronas and BP are major clients), infrastructure and distinctively, the agricultural technology market for greenhouses.

Ossama A. Kadum, Managing Director, explained on a visit to the IBBC Cumberland Lodge weekend retreat that:

“Ratba’a are on the look out to collaborate with British companies with strong design and planning expertise and IOC’s for whom Ratba’a can deliver high quality engineering contracts and build projects.”

Mr Kadhum’s staff has a high commitment to training, quality assurance and engineering expertise that has enabled the company to prosper and grow through a difficult macro environment.

Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC said:

“Ratba’s strength in Iraq is their scrupulous adherence to high standards of delivery, which distinguishes them from many local contractors. High standards are something IBBC expects and admires among and for our members. We are very pleased to welcome Ratba’a on board and the value they will add to our members.”

(Source: IBBC)