Acquiring and disseminating knowledge by various actors is critical to the development of the Horticulture sector and improvement of farming practices. Building capacity and enhancing knowledge of different stakeholders is key in developing the sector, achieving food security, increasing market resilience and reaching the ultimate goal of knowledge sufficiency. The IHD program will target counterpart organizations, departments of agriculture in relevant Ministries, knowledge institutions and universities and the private sector to assist in capacity and knowledge building and to enable them to take an active role in the knowledge-exchange activity. Building awareness and increasing the level of knowledge of local farmers will improve their productivity and enhance sustainable farming practices and competitiveness. The IHD program will also promote collaboration between lead farmers and small farmers for mutually beneficial outcomes.

  • Conduct two knowledge exchange visits to Jordan with an aim to foster an innovative vision for participants, strengthen ties between two countries and showcase different interventions by the Jordan Hydroponic Agriculture and Employment Development Project (HAED-Jo).
  • Support lead farmers in attending the Greentech trade show in Amsterdam which is scheduled to be held on June 15 -17th 2021.
  • Assess training needs and Develop training material based on outcomes of visits and discussions thats will be conducted with universities and knowledge exchange centers in all regions of Iraq.
  • Develop online and offline training sessions to build the technical skill set of target groups
  • Carryout theoretical, practical and behavioral demonstration field visits
  • Provide mentorship and day-to-day technical support to partner farmers to build their capacity and assist them in achieving a successful alteration from conventional cultivation to the newly

In that respect, the project activities will tackle market value chains and develop recommendations on best models for farmer-market linkages, improve postharvest management practices to enhance the quality of yields and create market linkages to optimize the sectors post-harvest value chains. Improved postharvest management will bring immediate benefits to farmers by increasing their revenue base from existing production systems and enabling them to obtain a bigger share of existing market systems. The IHD postharvest interventions will aim to:

  • Develop postharvest practices that are tailored to growers needs.
  • Promote innovative approaches of organization and management structures for postharvest systems.
  • Work with the participating farmers in greenhouse systems to ensure quality improvements of their crops.
  • Sharpen the technical skills of postharvest value chains.
  • Create job opportunities for both men and women in the postharvest value chain with businesses currently operating the systems and other facilities.

To date, the IHD team has assessed a few operating postharvest systems in KRI and will assess additional postharvest facilities in central and southern Iraq. The facilities are evaluated based on available machinery and infrastructure, capacities, technologies, services, export produce, marketing channels, gaps and limitations.

Additionally, the team will start assessing local farmers and community groups for support eligibility. These individuals will be categorized as follows:

  • Small farmers targeting traditional supply channels
  • Medium farmers targeting niche export markets
  • Big farmers operating production facilities