Baghdad, 3 April 2022: The International Trade Centre’s, Strengthening the Agriculture and Agri-food Value Chain and Improving Trade Policy (SAAVI) project signed a partnership agreement with Zuhoor al Watan in Baghdad.
SAAVI will collaborate with Zuhoor al Watan, one of the largest agricultural and poultry production companies in Iraq, to connect smallholder producers, strengthen their capacity, and create local alliances offering commercially viable volumes of quality products.
The five-year SAAVI project, funded by the European Union, seeks to enhance competitiveness of the agriculture sector and improve trade policy in Iraq with a budget of 22.5 million EUR. It is being implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in close collaboration with the Government of Iraq and other implementing partners, including the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
This partnership will rely on the use of market-based solutions to support increased profitability of Iraqi small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which will eventually translate into job creation and inclusive growth. It will support broader strategic efforts from the government of Iraq to build a competitive agri-food sector, able to seize remunerative domestic market opportunities currently largely captured by products imported from neighbouring countries.
“Iraqi agricultural products have undeniable market potential,” said Eric Buchot, SAAVI Senior Programme Coordinator. “With the right support and associated reforms, they could not only provide jobs for thousands of Iraqis, but also a strategic and reliable alternative to foreign imports, which are more prone to price fluctuations and supply disruptions.”
Additional notes for the Editor
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is an independent humanitarian organisation. In Iraq, NRC is continuing to shift towards early recovery programming, aiming for sustainable development and providing integrated and localised services including assistance to smallholders and MSMEs in agriculture.
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