Restoring and strengthening the resilience of agrifood systems in southern Iraq (governorates of Basra, Dhi-Qar and Missan) [EN/AR] – Iraq

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FAO and EU support buffalo producers in Basra, Maysan and Dhi-Qar governorates to mitigate negative impacts of water scarcity

25 March 2022 – With the support of the European Union and in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture and local governments, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched campaigns to distribution of animal feed and fodder seeds to 2,500 farmers and buffalo herders in the governorates of Basra, Maysan and Dhi Qar in southern Iraq. The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mithaq Abdul-Hussein, the Head of Cooperation of the European Union Mission in the Republic of Iraq, Ms Barbara Egger, the FAO Representative in Iraq, Dr Salah ElHajj Hassan, together with representatives of respective local governments, directors of local departments of agriculture, heads of federations of agricultural associations and representatives of respective communities attended the inaugural distribution ceremonies in the district of Al- Qurna (Basra Governorate), Al-Uzair District (Maysan Governorate) and Al-Jbayish District (Dhi Qar Governorate) on March 21-22, 2022.

This initiative comes amid the difficulties faced by farmers and buffalo herders due to a sharp increase in feed prices and water scarcity caused by the negative effects of climate change and reduced inputs. surface water from upstream neighbours. This project focuses on strengthening agricultural livelihoods in the south, working closely with the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture to restore and improve the resilience of agricultural food systems in southern Iraq by empowering smallholder farmers. poor and vulnerable rural families in targeted governorates.

During the distribution ceremonies, Dr. Salah indicated the need to support farmers to improve food security through coordination of efforts and close partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and local governments. He added that FAO’s efforts are part of an EU-funded “Agribusiness Development Programme”, where several international partners (such as FAO, GIZ, ILO, (IOM, ITC and UNESCO) are collaborating to see a wider impact on agricultural values. value chains, including livestock and dairy production, processing and marketing. Dr Salah said he expects improved livelihoods, creation of new and better jobs, empowerment of women in particular and improved production of this sector lifeblood of the economy. At the end, he thanked the European Union for the continuous support of the agricultural sector in Iraq, the Ministry of Agriculture for its outstanding role in the implementation of the project.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Dr Mithaq Abdul-Hussein underlined the positive role of FAO and the European Union in supporting the agricultural sector in Iraq, stressing the importance of promoting fodder cultivation in buffalo breeding areas to ensure dependence on local food. . Representatives of local governments from the governorates of Basra, Dhi-Qar and Maysan also expressed their gratitude to FAO for its efforts to support the agricultural sector and, in particular, for providing the necessary expertise to buffalo herders in the preservation of this important wealth, which is a pillar of the development of the economy. Representatives of farmers and buffalo herders through their agricultural association federations said the intervention will have a positive impact on animal production and health.

FAO’s international livestock expert, Dr. Kayouli Chedly, presented the main activities to be implemented under the livestock component of the project, informed about the types of food distributed and gave practical recommendations on their usage. Dr Chedly stressed the importance of introducing modern techniques in animal production to stimulate increased milk and meat production, as well as to adapt to drought. This can also be achieved by the introduction of complementary feed with high nutritional value, easy to implement, accessible to farmers, less expensive and which has proven to be sustainable.

Finally, in an EU statement addressed to the audience, Ms Barbara Egger, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Mission in the Republic of Iraq, said the following: “The European Union is very proud to support the agricultural sector in Basra, Maysan, and Thi Qar provinces. Through support to smallholders, this project is well placed to maximize the strong potential offered by the agricultural sector to diversify the economy. ‘EU is fully aware of the difficulties faced by the agricultural sector in southern Iraq due to this year’s drought, and today’s distribution of molasses, maize silage and fodder seeds does not is just one of the many activities the EU is funding in Iraq to alleviate the hardship of farmers. The EU would also like to acknowledge the good cooperation with MoA staff, local authorities and FAO. I thank the efforts of the team for the successful start of the distributions of at today.

for more information contact
Hemn Ahmed Communications Consultant Phone: + 9647704232268 [email protected]

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