Tomatoes from Iraq reach international retail store

16 December 2022
ITC News

In a major achievement for horticulture farmers from Mosul in northern Iraq, retail and wholesaling corporation, Carrefour Iraq has recently bought tomatoes from them. The successful farmers are supported by the European Union (EU) funded “Strengthening the Agriculture and Agri-food Value Chain and Improving trade policy in Iraq” (SAAVI) project.

The Erbil branch of the world-renowned international chain purchased 6.5 tons of tomatoes including the Jesse and Hamsa varieties in two successful transactions that should marks the beginning of a mutually beneficial business relationship.

The win-win business transaction resulted in 100% increase in the farmers’ income by successfully delivering the required quantity and quality of the product. Tomatoes that would usually fetch 0.3 USD per kilogram were sold at the agreed price of 0.6 USD per kilogram. The deal represented a net gain of USD 2,000 for farmers.

A clear and actionable marketing process enabled the farmers of the Diljat Al Khair Agribusiness Alliance to receive an immediate cash payment for their delivery with the buyer bearing the transportation cost.

SAAVI Agri-business alliances, allow producers to understand market requirements, upgrade their business model to seize these remunerative market opportunities by drafting local agribusiness development plans, and establish long-term business deals with other members of the value chain.

In Iraq, the Agri-business alliances are being formed through SAAVI, implemented by the International Trade Centre in close partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Earlier this year, the first Agri-business Alliance was formed in Al Qubaa (Mosul). It has connected 56 potato producers with Beirut Erbil for Potato Products (BEPP), a large potato chips factory in Iraq willing to buy their production at a higher price. There are now 10 SAAVI agri-business alliances active in Iraq, from North to South, and each linked with reputable buyers. It is anticipated that this market-based model will improve competitiveness of over 1500 farms/SMEs.

SAAVI contributes to inclusive economic growth and job creation, particularly for youth, by improving Iraq’s agriculture competitiveness and supporting trade development.

The project forms part of the overall EU special measure for supporting employment creation and improving economic governance in Iraq. As such, SAAVI is fully aligned with the activities of FAO, IOM, ILO, UNESCO and GIZ in the domain of private sector engagement and agricultural development.