USAID to fund agribusiness incubator in Kurdistan Region

A combine harvester works a field near Penjwen (Photo: Winthrop Rodgers/NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Sunday (September 26) that it is launching an agribusiness incubator to support agricultural development in the Kurdistan Region.

The 12-month, $1 million program is designed to increase the competitiveness of local agricultural products, which often struggle against cheaper imports from Turkey and Iran.

Local farmers regularly protest against the imports, occasionally dumping their unsold tomatoes or cucumbers on major roadways in dramatic demonstrations. These usually result in brief import bans, which are quietly ended after a period of time, leaving the farmers’ situation unchanged.

The USAID funding will support an incubator run in partnership with Iraq-based consulting firm Top Mountain, which will "promote local consumption by building market links and facilitating new public-private sector partnerships,” according to a press release.

(NRT Digital Media)