Iraq’s agriculture sector declined considerably during the last few decades due to the lack of investment, isolation from the global economy and counterproductive agricultural policies. Iraq has been dependent on importing a significant portion of its food. However, Iraqi agribusinesses and markets are just beginning to modernize their operations in order to compete with imports and meet local demands. After the government and the oil sector, agriculture is the country’s third largest employer and contributor to the economy.
Currently, USAID assists private Iraqi agribusinesses in improving their productivity by working with the entire chain of production, processing, and marketing. Throughout this chain, farmers are introduced to the latest technologies in agribusiness, including soil and water management. The goal is to increase productivity, lower production and marketing costs, increase the profitability of agricultural enterprises, and generate rural employment with technical assistance and business development training. USAID is helping the private sector increase agricultural revenues.
Our impacts in this sector include:
- The generation of $142 million in direct sales of agricultural commodities since 2007, helping the agricultural sector rebuild and begin to meet local demands.
- The creation of 14,711 jobs for Iraqis since 2007, helping to generate rural employment and private sector growth in this industry.
- Development of technical trainings for Field Based Learning Centers to increase and modernize the technical skills of industry workers.
- Working with youth, widows and internally displaced people to develop sustainable agribusinesses.
- Providing technical assistance to 32 fish hatchery operations, increasing the breadth of products produced locally.
- Helping the Middle East Fish Farm and Euphrates Fish Farm to establish themselves as the primary providers of fish fingerlings (young fish for breeding) to Iraqi fish producers.
Last updated: September 30, 2013