Through EU funded project, FAO establishing stakeholder's partnerships for Improving Date Palm and Tomato value chains in south Iraq
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Iraq (FAO), held a large consultative meeting in Al-Zubair district / Basra Governorate, with the Agriculture Directorate, Farmers Associations, Al-Zubair Tomato Producers Association, tomato and date palm farmers, with the participation of women farmers from the Office of Rural Women's Affairs and representatives from the private sector.
FAO Representative in Iraq Dr Salah ElHajj Hassan, confirmed that the project "Restoration and enhance the resilience of agricultural food systems in southern Iraq funded by the European Union and implemented by FAO in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture in Iraq focuses on developing tomato and Date palm sectors, in addition to the buffalo sector, as the main value chains in southern Iraq, pointing to the importance of introducing Farmers Field School FFS programs for implementing a participatory approach in analyzing technical challenges as well identifying and implementing solutions, which will have a profound impact in strengthening the capacities of both extension staff and farmers.
FAO Representative and FAO team further highlighted that Technical support will be accompanied by marketing interventions that will be based on a partnership including farmers association, MOA and other stakeholders with project initial support.
The interventions and remarks of participants were noted, as well directions and comments of the local authorities, as the Director of Agriculture and the Head of Farmers Associations in Basra confirmed their commitments in dedicating needed efforts and resources to ensure success for this innovative vision for supporting the marketing of both Tomato and date crops.
The Director of the Rural Women's Affairs Office confirmed that women have a fundamental role within the Tomato Producers Association as they have an active contribution to the sector and are already engaged in important initiative.