KRG national training program links Kurdish farmers to international buyers, says PM Barzani
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The recently launched national training program of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to sharpen farming skills will help Kurdish farmers to connect with international buyers, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Wednesday.
The program was announced on August 1, as part of the government’s efforts to develop its agricultural sector in order to lessen the dependence on hydrocarbons, which used to constitute the lion’s share of the Region’s revenues.
The training program brings a number of benefits to the farmers, including an “Increase [in] production of the selected product, compliance with export standards, links to new international buyers,” Barzani said on the X platform, previously Twitter.
Our national training program will provide these benefits to 1,000 Kurdistani farmers:— Masrour Barzani (@masrourbarzani) August 9, 2023
• Increase production of selected products
• Compliance with export standards
• Links to new international buyers
Agriculture will become the backbone of #StrongerKurdistan. pic.twitter.com/VMBS7g0oDC
The instructors that provide the courses are experts from the Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources as well as Higher Education and Scientific Research, Kurdistan 24 has learned.
The two-day courses will be given based on the needs of the farmers on specific skills, from the pre- to post-harvesting phases.
The Kurdistan Region has recently exported 300 tons of potatoes to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which similarly received Kurdish pomegranates last year, marking the first official export of Kurdish produce to the Gulf region under the government’s supervision as part of a pilot project.
The government has been in contact with various regional market leaders and governments in order to draw their attention to the Kurdish produce, which has been hailed as “premium grade”, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has said on several occasions.
Honey and apples will be exported to the Gulf countries in 2023, according to the government.
"Kurdistan Region could become Iraq's food basket," Barzani said in a televised interview aired last December while speaking on his cabinet's efforts to develop the sector.