By John Lee.

Anpario plc, a UK- based producer and distributor of natural animal feed additives, has attributed sales growth of 23 percent in the Middle East and Africa region on strong performances in Iraq, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, driven by sales of its Orego-Stim® and Mastercube, its pellet binder.

In its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2019, the company said:

“Turkey continued to disappoint as a result of the economic situation there, but this is offset by strong sales to Iraq; a region whose animal nutrition capability is now recovering having been formerly dependent on supply from Turkey.”

(Source: Anpario)

Fruit prices plummeted considerably during the summer harvest season in the Kurdistan Region, so much so that the price of harvesting the fruits and transporting them to wholesale markets sometimes outweighs their sale price.

In the past, farmers used to dry these fruits and sell them that way to make a profit.

But nowadays, 95 percent of the dried fruit available in Kurdistan Region markets is imported, and this has discouraged local farmers from drying their fruits to avoid financial loss during the harvest season.

Click here to read the full story from Rudaw.

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.

Iraqi Minister of Trade Mohammed Hashim al-Ani announced July 5 that the ministry received about 4 million tons of local wheat, a step that signals the country is ready to achieve self-sufficiency in this strategic crop.

This comes despite the fires that hit agricultural fields across Iraq and ravaged 40,000 acres (16,000 hectares) of land.

Click here to read the full article.

By John Lee.

Turkey and Iraq have agreed to set up a center in Baghdad to study and address water issues in the region.

According to Daily Sabah, the Turkish Presidency’s Special Representative to Iraq Veysel Eroğlu said that both countries have drafted an action plan to address water issues.

They will also set up nurseries for trees suitable for conditions in Iraq.

(Sources: Daily Sabah, Ministry of Water Resources)

The Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mr. Adil Abd Al-Mahdi. It:

  • voted to adopt the recommendation of the Ministerial Council on Energy on the Charter of Cooperation of Oil-Producing Countries which aims to promote stability in the global oil market;
  • approved the allocation of funds to the Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and Public Works for the completion of Phase II of the Kirkuk Unified Water Project, one of the largest water projects in Iraq.
  • approved the allocation of funds to the Ministry of Justice to support its prison construction programme and the rehabilitation and refurbishment of existing facilities.
  • agreed that state-owned Mesopotamia, a Ministry of Agriculture company, can borrow from the Trade Bank of Iraq, and other banks the amount of 300 billion dinars to pay farmers for its purchases of the 2019 barley produce.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

By John Lee.

The study Technical and Environmental Efficiency of Wheat Farms in Saline Irrigated Areas of Central Iraq investigates the impact of soil salinity on technical efficiency (TE) and environmental efficiency (EE) in wheat production in central Iraq, where 360 farmers interviewed in winter season 2015-2016.

In developing countries, even though irrigated agricultural land covers only 20% of all arable land, it accounts for 47% and 60% of all crop and cereal production respectively. In total, 11% of irrigated area is affected by salinity (Pakistan, China, United States, and India present more than 60% of this percentage).

The removal of salts from the soil through leaching and drainage increases the salinity of drainage water, which then might be up to 50 times more concentrated than irrigation water, in which surface water supplies 62% of the irrigated area. Irrigated area disposal can raise the salinity of receiving water bodies to levels that make them no longer usable.

The Iraq Salinity Initiative, funded by the Australian Centre for International Research (ACIAR), AusAID and the Italian Government was designed in 2010 for the Government of Iraq and for the Iraq farmers by a group of international agencies led by ICARDA to solve the problems of Iraq’s salty soils and salty irrigation water.

More here.

(Source: ICARDA)

By John Lee.

The Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has announced a loan of 1 trillion Iraqi dinars ($843 million) to the state-run Grain Board of Iraq, which is affiliated to the Iraqi Ministry of Commerce.

According to a press release, the loan is an effort to help Iraqi farmers for clear their dues and payments in accordance with the announcement made by the Iraqi Prime Minister recently under the government’s strategy aimed to support the Iraqi economy.

This initiative, which supports the agricultural sector, is aimed at enhancing production capacity and contributing to the sustainable development of the sector, which is a fundamental pillar of the Iraqi economy.

(Source: TBI)

By Peter Schwartzstein, for National Geographic.

Iranian border guards have started scores of blazes along their shared frontier to clear their lines of sight along key cross-border smuggling routes.

Turkish airstrikes on militant camps have reduced tracts of forest to cinder.

Across the bone-dry mountains and flatlands, a potent combination of illegal logging and naturally occurring wildfires are consuming large chunks of whatever greenery bombs and bullets haven’t torched.

Click here to read the full article.

By John Lee.

Baghdad has reportedly banned the import of table salt, noodles and pasta from Turkey.

This follows import bans on eggs and ice cream imposed earlier this year.

According to Daily Sabah, the ban will take effect after 60 days and will remain in force for a year.

(Source: Daily Sabah)

Farming families in northern Iraq’s Nineveh Governorate will benefit from a European Union contribution of €15 million to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to recover agricultural livelihoods. The area, which includes the city of Mosul, was known as the country’s ‘breadbasket’ before conflict caused widespread damage and displacement.

This project is expected to directly benefit almost 10,000 vulnerable farming families (around 60,000 people), as well as flow-on benefits for local service providers and labourers.

“As part of the EU’s commitment to the whole of Iraq, supporting the regions so tragically devastated by the recent conflict remains a high priority. By reviving agriculture in Nineveh, a key sector of the economy, this new project will help communities and returnees in rural areas, increasing their income and employment opportunities,” said Ramon Blecua, European Union Ambassador to Iraq.

“We are grateful to the European Union for this generous contribution to help us rehabilitate key agricultural facilities and equipment. Getting these services operational again will be a big help for farmers and local businesses,” said Mustapha M. Sinaceur, FAO Representative a.i. in Iraq. “Creating jobs in the heartland of agriculture, where so many jobs depend on the rich soils of Nineveh Governorate, is vital for community stabilization,” he said.

The impact of conflict on the agricultural sector has been devastating and includes damage to water systems, irrigation facilities and other agricultural infrastructure, disruption of value chains and losses of personal assets, crop and livestock production, and food supplies.

Since the Iraqi government announced the defeat of Islamic State, also known as Da’esh, a year ago, many people have returned, encouraged by the efforts to ensure a secure and safe environment. However, some areas still lack basic services and job opportunities for both returnees and those who remained.

FAO and the EU working together for family farmers

The EU-funded project supports smallholder farming families to diversify incomes, increase resilience, and provide nutritious and healthy diets.

The project will support vulnerable smallholder farmers to resume vegetable production, introduce efficient irrigation water use and management, encourage agri-food processing, improve small-scale dairy processing and marketing, and boost animal fodder production and conservation.

Women, in particular, will be supported to participate in home-based vegetable and dairy production and processing. Unemployed young agriculture graduates will be encouraged to benefit from training to gain employment as agri-food processors, farmer field school and farmer business school facilitators, community animal health workers, market information system operators, and food security and nutrition data collectors and analysts.

Together, these activities will respond to families’ immediate needs for food and essential non-food items as well as restoring agricultural livelihoods that generate income and employment over the longer term.

At the same time, the project aims to restore vital government infrastructure and support services to the agriculture sector that have been destroyed, damaged, or looted.

The project is an EU contribution to the UN’s Recovery and Resilience Programme (RRP) in Iraq. It is part of a larger package of support (€ 184.4 million euros) the EU has contributed to support stabilization and humanitarian efforts undertaken by the UN in support of the Government of Iraq since 2016.

FAO’s response in Iraq

Under the Iraq Humanitarian Response Plan 2019, FAO is working to ensure rural families have the resources to re-establish and secure their agricultural livelihoods and build their resilience into the future. FAO’s work, in close coordination with the Iraqi government, supports families returning to retaken areas, internally displaced families, host communities and refugees from Syria.

(Source: FAO)