Unlocking Iraqi Talent in the Agricultural Sector

June 5, 2024


Iraq, Erbil - 5 June 2024, The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), proudly announces the graduation of 200 women from a training program for doing business in the agriculture food industry.

"The agriculture food industry holds immense potential for economic growth and sustainable development in the Kurdistan Region," said H.E. Mr. Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister, KRG. "Through our partnership with UNDP and USAID, we have taken a significant step towards harnessing these women’s potential by equipping them with the necessary skills to thrive in this sector" added Talabani. 

Participants across 9 locations in IKR, including Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Dohuk, Halabja, Garmian, Soran, Rapareen, Zakho, and Akre, were trained on cultivating various agricultural products, marketing strategies, and entrepreneurship skills tailored to the specific needs of each location.

“This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to supporting inclusive and sustainable development in Iraq. By investing in the capacity and untapped potential of Iraqi women, we are not only fostering equitable economic empowerment, but also contributing to the overall advancement of the agriculture sector in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. This wouldn’t have been possible without the generous contribution of our steadfast partner, USAID" said Mr. Auke Lootsma, Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq.

"The successful completion of this training underscores the importance of partnerships in driving positive change. By working together, we can create opportunities for every Iraqi to play a transformative role in the agriculture food industry, ultimately contributing to food security and economic prosperity in Iraq" said Ms. Elise Jensen, USAID/Iraq’s Mission Director.

The program's emphasis on producing diverse food products, tailored to local market demands, reflects a holistic approach to strengthening the agriculture food industry. Participants were trained in various skills, including pickling olives and vegetables, making jams and sauces, preparing natural sweets, producing vinegar and juices, creating tomato paste, drying fruits and vegetables, and handling frozen products.

Through this training, the KRG, UNDP, and USAID aim to enable today’s graduates to not only enter the agriculture food industry, but to establish their own businesses, thereby fostering sustainable livelihoods and contributing to Iraq’s economic growth.


For more information:



Christine Cool, UNDP Iraq, Team Lead/Strategic Partnerships, Advocacy & Communications



Mohammed Al-Bahbahanee, UNDP Iraq, Communications Specialist