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Dutch horticultural orientation mission visits Kurdistan region of Iraq

From September 17 to 21, 2023, Veteffect, RVO, and the Dutch Consulate General-agricultural team organized a Horticultural Orientation Mission to the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI).

Because of urbanization and climate change, protected horticulture offers attractive opportunities for business, food security, and jobs in KRI. Dutch companies, because of their know-how and good reputation, are well-placed to enter into this market.

The mission
The mission explored possibilities for trade and cooperation in KRI. Over the course of 4 days, the Dutch company representatives traveled from Sulaymaniyah to Halabja and Erbil. They visited high- and low-tech greenhouses, wholesale markets, and post-harvest facilities. They met with representatives from government, leading private companies, and agri-start-ups.

Participating companies
Participating companies indicated that despite the challenges of doing business in the region, they saw good opportunities and growing needs in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, dairy, and climate:

  • “We certainly got interested. Given climate and sustainability, we certainly see opportunities.”
  • “I got convinced there are chances for business, especially also in the dairy sector.”
  • “We know from experience that it is not easy to do business in this region. In this mission, we got new leads, and we will try to follow up by engaging in discussions.”
  • “I think that the need of the KRI to bring in know-how in horticulture is growing every year.”

The mission concluded with a visit to the international Agricultural Fair in Erbil, Agro-Pack, to join the Netherlands Pavilion. Simultaneously, another delegation of 8 Dutch companies arrived to participate in the Agro-Pack fair in Erbil. The fair is the most prominent agricultural fair in Iraq, where agricultural professionals meet for three days.

Business networking and matchmaking events in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah
“I think the Erbil business network event was maybe the most valuable; it brought us probably the most contacts,” said one of the participants.

The Consulate General of the Netherlands and its Agriculture Team organized two highly appreciated business networking events. These events provided room for fruitful discussions and matchmaking.

During her speech at the networking event in Erbil, H.E. Begard Talabani, the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources- KRG, highlighted the importance of cooperation between the Netherlands and Kurdistan region in the field of agriculture. She emphasized the potential for collaborative efforts to tackle the challenges related to climate change and food security.


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