30 June 2021: Nineveh, Bashiqa, Hamdaniya and Bartella districts
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held the inaugural ceremony of dairy processing, marketing, and micro-enterprise centres established under the project Support to agricultural livelihoods of rural and peri-urban returnees and communities in Nineveh Governorate funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.
The official opening ceremony was attended by the, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mithaq Abdul-Hussein, the Deputy Minister of Migration and Displacement, Mr. Karim Hussein Ali Al-Nuri, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, the Representative of the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Samira Alshabib, the Representative of the Minister of Planning, Mr. Bassem Dari Mahmoud, the Representative of the Nineveh Governor, Mr. Ali Al-Qaba, the Director of Agriculture directorate in Nineveh, Dr. Rabie Youssef Elias; the Director of the Veterinary Services in Nineveh, Dr. Uday Al-Abadi, the President of the agricultural Local Union/Cooperative Associations and the FAO Representative in Iraq, Dr. Salah El-Hajj Hassan as well as 600 farmers and livestock producers among the project beneficiaries.
During the Ceremony, the government officials participated to the distribution of the first batch of dairy equipment aiming to improve the quality of milk production of nearly 4,000 families, including women's groups, and distribution of sugar molasses to support 5,000 livestock producers in various districts and sub-districts of Nineveh Governorate.
Senior officials also attended the inauguration of two rehabilitated village small/medium-scale milk collection centers and visited a farm in Hamdaniya district, where the cultivation of green fodder crops such as sorghum and Alfalfa were introduced for the first time.
FAO investment in agricultural livelihood and value chains development in Nineveh will help food insecure households to produce much-needed food, generate jobs, diversify income and reduce their dependency on humanitarian assistance. The introduction of new agricultural practices, including in-country production of green fodder, will not only bring potential economic benefits but also will have high nutritive value" and concluded by thanking all authorities and the EU for the generous contribution.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mithaq Abdul-Hussein in his speech, appreciated the coordination between FAO and Nineveh Agriculture Directorate, including the capacity building of extension staff who are supporting the implementation and successfully transferring their technical knowledge to the beneficiaries.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Irena Vojackova-Sollorano expressed appreciation for the event and the role of women in agriculture and in the project as major driver of change*.*
The Deputy Minister of Migration and Displacement, Mr. Karim Hussein Ali Al-Nouri, reiterated the importance of FAO project as a real supporter for the stability of displaced families, through their return to the areas of origin; while the Director of Nineveh Agriculture Dr. Rabie Youssef Elias emphasized the adoption of modern technologies for greater sustainability.
FAO Senior Livestock Officer, Dr. Chedly Kayouli, concluded by thanking the project team, in particular the Extension Officers of the Nineveh Agriculture Directorate, who were able to transfer the technical knowledge to the beneficiaries for a sustainable livestock production systems.
Finally and on the sidelines of the ceremony, the President of the Local Union of Agricultural and Cooperative Societies - Nineveh Branch, Sheikh Abdul Hamid Fathi Al-Rashidi, thanked all actors working to improve the agricultural sector in Iraq.