Cultivating the future of Iraqi agriculture

7 juin 2024
ITC News

Keeping dreams alive

“Never give up on your dreams, even if there is only one candle lighting your way - this is what I have learned. Now my dreams of expanding my beekeeping business are a reality. Using the first instalment of the grant, I purchased more bees.”

Alaa Mahmoud who runs a beekeeping business has also started rebranding her business for broader outreach with the help of the grant.

Ali Hameed another grant recipient finds himself much stronger to cement the bonds in his community.

 “I have now set up a shop selling agriculture supplies, quality seeds and pest treatments so farmers from my area do not need to travel far to find good materials,” he says.

The financial support has enabled them to bring their visionary ideas to fruition.

The Genesis: SAAVI Tadreeb

Alaa and Ali are among more than 160 entrepreneurs who received grants from the innovative SAAVI Tadreeb initiative, which is the first of its kind e-learning platform in the country.

It enables emerging agripreneurs to start and develop their businesses.

The e-learning platform was launched by the International Trade Centre as part of the European Union-funded project "Strengthening the Agriculture and Agri-food Value Chain and Improving Trade Policy (SAAVI)" and in collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

It is part of a comprehensive training program that includes mentoring, coaching sessions, access to business development training, and finance for the most innovative and attractive agriculture and agri-food business plans.

So far, more than 4,000 young entrepreneurs have completed the training that has equipped them with the knowledge and skills to become the reason for positive change in Iraq’s agri-food landscape. The participants received a certificate after successfully completing 10 modules and passing the final exam.

Coming from the tranquil regions of Basra to the urban centres of Baghdad and Mosul, participants have had the opportunity to access the course material on their smartphones and computers, ensuring that learning is always within reach.

This investment in Iraq's youth not only underscores the confidence in the potential of their business models but also signals a bright future for the nation's agri-food sector.

Through fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, the initiative contributes to enhancing food security, creating jobs, and promoting economic diversification.

The portal is open to welcome new participants and additional grants are available to be awarded to new trainees. As SAAVI continues to ensure sustainability and ownership of the platform through local partners, a transition committee, chaired by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has also been formed.

Visit SAAVI Tadreeb portal here to access the gateway to knowledge, innovation, and opportunity in the agricultural domain.