Baghdad/Nineveh/Basra: Sector-focused consultations to support sustainable and inclusive development in the poultry and tomato value chains in Iraq were held in Basra and Mosul on 4 July 2021.
These consultations will be instrumental in elaborating national strategies for the two sectors. The poultry and tomato sector strategies will serve as a compass for the Government, private sector and development partners to improve the competitiveness of farmers and small and medium enterprises in these two sectors, contributing to the national pathway towards sustainable food systems, inclusive growth and job creation for Iraq citizens. Aligned with national planning frameworks, the strategies will specify clear priorities eventually producing a concrete five-year plan of action (2022-2026) that will not only define roles for implementing institutions but also provide an implementation management framework.
Public sector and private sector representatives including farmers, input suppliers, processors, wholesalers, traders and retailers and agri-support business services participated in the consultation sessions. They discussed the current situation and the future opportunities in developing the tomato and poultry value chains. The sessions provided a platform for engaging into realistic priority setting based on understanding market trends and requirements, and for discussing how inter-institutional cooperation can be improved to provide the necessary enabling environment for sustainable growth of the sector.
The International Trade Centre is facilitating the elaboration of the poultry and tomato sector strategies within the framework of the European Union-funded project, “Strengthening the agriculture and agri-food value chain and improving trade policy in Iraq” (SAAVI) under the leadership of the Government of Iraq.
Mr. Eric Buchot, who leads the International Trade Centre project in Iraq said, “As we work with our partners to strengthen agribusinesses in Iraq, we are grateful for the opportunity to hear from representatives of the government and private sector including farmers. The most effective way for the private sector to make its contributions is as part of such integrated and comprehensive strategic approach that involves government, food chain partners and development agencies.”
The EU Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Martin Huth said “The European Union is committed to work with the Government of Iraq to ensure better job opportunities for all Iraqis. Consultations with stakeholders are an important component of project design and the views of government, the private sector, farmer associations, civil society and business support organizations are essential. Our efforts, especially project activities, must fit the local context well and support the needs of stakeholders.”
Earlier, in Baghdad, the first sector core team meeting was also held with representatives from Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Trade, along with private sector stakeholders including farmers associations and chambers of commerce. The sector core team will provide leadership and guidance during the sector strategies design process.
These consultations build on approximately 18 local group consultations that were held with farmers and small businesses including women-owned businesses in Ninewah, KRI, Basrah, Thi Qar.
More than 500 competitiveness surveys focusing on agribusinesses and farmers have been completed throughout the country. Over 3000 interviews were conducted at the national level with consumers as well as with representatives from various stakeholder groups, such as traders, wholesalers and retailers, to help better understand market demand, identify areas of improvement and market opportunities.
Another round of national level consultation for tomato and poultry sector strategies will be conducted in early September.
Delegation of the European Union to Iraq
Al-Sadiq Al-Adilee – Press and Information Officer
International Trade Centre
Waqas Rafique, Public Information Officer