An international project aims to improve economic opportunities in
The partnership between the Inma Agribusiness Program, U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. and Iraqi governmental agencies, universities and agribusiness groups and individuals will bring new private-sector economic opportunities to Iraq, they said.
“Through a combination of technical and financial support, the partnership will work toward making Iraq a top beef and lamb producer within the Arab world,” said Dr. Ma’ad Mohammed, Inma project coordinator for the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture of the Texas A&M System, a key program participant.
The Inma Agribusiness Program is implemented by a consortium led by The Louis Berger Group Inc. under a USAID contract. Working with the Iraqi government, project participants are helping develop and diversify
Ongoing agricultural and agribusiness initiatives of the Inma program include improving Iraq’s crop diversity and livestock production, providing better agricultural information systems, developing and implementing soil reclamation and water resource programs, and increasing domestic and foreign agribusiness partnerships.
According to USAID, the new Inma feedlot initiative will help establish the forage (alfalfa, barley and hay) industry in
The project also is expected to improve food security by providing higher quality, healthier animals and a “more desirable form of protein” to consumers. Feedlot project activities will be part of the overall Inma agribusiness program, which was initiated in July 2007 and is contracted through May 2010, and contains provisions for two additional one-year extensions.
The Inma program hopes to establish about 30 feedlots throughout
“The demand for high-quality red meat in
More importantly, he added, feedlot farming methods can increase revenue for farmers and provide new job opportunities within the Iraqi livestock industry.
“Providing more revenue to the agribusiness sector will also improve
“The Inma feedlot project also will open the door for new business ventures and the use of new technology,” Mohammed added. “It will also help create an opportunity for meat export to other countries.”
To announce the new partnership, the Inma Livestock and Forage “value chain” team coordinated a Livestock Feedlots: More Meat, More Income symposium on June 25 at the Al Rasheed Hotel in
During the symposium, the team presented estimates that by 2012 it would be possible for 30 feedlot operations in Iraq to increase national red-meat production by 2 percent, increasing revenues by about $30 million and generating about $15 million in gross income for livestock producers.
“The event was attended by Dr. Akram Al Hakeem,
“Senior ministry officials emphasized the need for support from private industry,”
Other discussion addressed the use of local livestock in feedlot operations, maintaining an adequate sustainable food supply for feedlot animals, government subsidies, credit access and Iraqi banking laws.
“Initial efforts will set the tone for a new era in the Iraqi livestock industry which will then develop and create new jobs and new possibilities through the entire livestock value chain in both urban and rural areas,”
For more information on the Inma project, click here