ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The World Horti Center will open a facility in the Kurdistan Region, which is set to help the autonomous Kurdish region develop its private sector.
Kurdish project developer RedYar recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to establish a global knowledge and innovation center of greenhouse horticulture in Kurdistan.
Willem Cosijn, the Dutch Consul-General in Erbil, helped bring the greenhouse center to the Kurdistan Region.
“Farmers and growers in both countries will benefit from this Kurdish-Dutch team up,” Cosijn told Kurdistan 24. “That’s why I like my work so much.”
The Dutch government is actively trying to help strengthen lasting stability in the Kurdistan Region by supporting its private sector, with a focus on agriculture.
The project developer already began building a 75-hectare food and distribution center, with a wholesale complex that includes fruits and vegetables for markets and restaurants. The innovation center will be built in the same area.
There is plenty of room for greenhouses to create “food independence” in Kurdistan. The Kurdish region relies heavily on food imports from neighboring countries like Iran and Turkey and imports billions of dollars’ worth of fruit and vegetables annually.
A World Horti Center in Erbil will contribute to further economic development in the country and possibly large parts of the Middle East in the future.
The new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) led by Prime Minister-designate Masrour Barzani has underlined its commitment to reduce dependence on oil and gas by investing in agriculture.
According to Mark Zwinkels, the project director of Food and Flowers at the World Horti Center in the Netherlands, the mission will “be adapted to local needs and demands in the region.”
The research will be supported by Demokwekerij Westland and education group Lentiz, which will contribute its knowledge for greenhouse education.
The Dutch dairy farming sector is also involved in the development project.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany