Beirut Boat Top Banner
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Directory Directory Subscribe

Kurdistan agriculture turning organic to compete internationally


Please, enter data

Please, enter data

Rudaw, 11 October 2017

The Kurdistan Region’s agriculture ministry has become a member of an international organization promoting organic agriculture. An official from the ministry said producing organic food will open new markets for local farmers. 
The Ministry of Agriculture became a member of the German-based International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) two weeks ago. IFOAM connects some 800 affiliates in more than 100 countries. 
“The Kurdistan Region cannot currently compete with Iran and Turkey in terms of product and price. That is why we thought about developing organic agriculture so that we can find an international market for our products through this way,” Dr. Anwar Ahmed, an official with the ministry’s High Committee of Organic Agriculture, told Rudaw.
“Some businessmen from Kurdistan wanted to export Kurdistan’s produce and fruits to Qatar after Qatar came under an embargo imposed by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. But Qatar rejected most of the products after examination showed abundant use of fertilizer. It only approved onion imports produced in a semi-organic manner. Through this experience we realized that the only way to enter international markets is to develop organic agriculture,” Ahmed explained.
Organic agriculture is on the rise due to increasing demand for organic products. In 1999, nearly 11 million hectares of land were used to grow organic products. According to IFOAM, this increased to 43.7 hectares in 2013. The overall sale of organic products was 68 billion euros in the same year.
According to data gathered by IFOAM, Australia pays the most attention to organic agriculture. It grows 12.14 million hectares of organic products annually. Argentina comes second in this regard with 3.8 million hectares and the US comes third with 1.9 million hectares. 
“The Kurdistan Region has good infrastructure for organic agriculture. It only needs some instructions and some laws” to impose regulations, Ahmed said.
Grapes, pomegranates, figs, apples, walnuts, rice, and honey are some of the products produced without the use of fertilizer, said Ahmed. But “we cannot sell them as organic or semi-organic products to other countries because no international organization has been supporting us to issue organic certificates for these products. This is due to the lack of a law specific on the bases of organic agriculture.”
There are three sets of international criteria for organic food: the American, Japanese and European criteria. Each has its own regulations.
“Most demands for organic products are from European countries. And because the Kurdistan Region’s climate and products are more suitable for the European criterion, that is why we want to benefit from European laws and criteria,” Ahmed said.
Organic agriculture is more cost effective and better for the environment, argued Arshad Yasin Khoshnaw, an expert on the technique and a lecturer in Salahaddin University’s agriculture faculty.
“Organic agriculture can help us obtain healthy food and clean the land from the damage of chemical fertilizer. This way, we don’t have to spend money on importing chemical fertilizer. Most of the fertilizer is harmful to the environment, land, and food products. Their quality is so low that they affect the growth of the products,” he said. 
According to this expert, if the ministry takes steps to develop this kind of agriculture, it should begin with training sessions for farmers and should choose pieces of land that are far from roads and the poisonous gases emitted from cars. The ministry should start with land that has not already been exposed to heavy use of chemical materials.
In organic agriculture, there are lower yields because of not using artificial seeds and chemical fertilizers. This is why organic agriculture is not favored by every farmer.
“By using glasshouses, we can protect products from diseases and control the heat and cold; we can also grow most produce in a suspended way. This can make up for the reduced yield” of organic agriculture, said Khoshnaw.
In the Kurdistan Region, there is good infrastructure for organic agriculture.
As a first step, the Ministry of Agriculture has formed a high committee to work on organic agriculture. It has also produced some posters and leaflets and provincial directorates of agricultural research have been asked to pay particular attention to research on organic agriculture.
“Changing Kurdistan’s agricultural system to organic is not an easy job. It needs a lot of time. In the first phase, farmers can stop using chemical fertilizer. They can learn to make organic fertilizer. In subsequent stages, we can use the areas that have seen fewer diseases. We can also benefit from useful ants to control diseases and the bushes,” said Maqsud Khalid, director of agricultural research in Erbil.
11 October
Login to Add Your Comment  (for subscribers) | Subscribe


Latest News

Abu Dhabi Ports, Russia sign pact to bolster trade, attract investment to UAE free zones
The National, 21 March 2018

Abu Dhabi Ports signed a pact with Russia to strengthen trade ties and attract Russian companies to invest in the emirate’s free zones.

The ...

Read full story
Abu Dhabi Ports, Russia sign pact to bolster trade, attract investment to UAE free zones
Orascom Construction JV wins Dh661m Fujairah airport contract
The National, 19 March 2018

Orascom Construction and its UAE joint venture partner won the $180 million (Dh661m) Fujairah International Airport expansion contract as the Egyptian contractor ...

Read full story
Orascom Construction JV wins Dh661m Fujairah airport contract
Back to Home Page 5705 --- 0 <><><> 926.83333333333.....exvideo=0....eximage=0
P -1
BR 0

Wet Infrastructure Summit

3rd Annual Mosque Design & Development Summit
1 - April 2018
4th Annual RetrofitTech Dubai Summit & Awards
10 - April 2018
The Annual Future Drainage & Stormwater Networks Abu Dhabi
2 - May 2018
Wet Infrastructure Summit
2 - May 2018
Future Civil Defense
7 - May 2018
  View more  

Market Indecies
Saudi SE - 2.32%
Dubai FM - 4.53%
Abu Dhabi SE - 3.99%
Kuwait SE - 1.51%
Doha SM - 8.36%
Muscat SM - 6.18%
Casablanca SE Closed
Bahrain SE - 0.98%
Cairo SE Closed
Amman SE - 1.12%

Beirut Boat Left Banner

Quick Links
  Brochures & Flyers  

Up-coming events
  Iraq Agrofood Baghdad - 5 September - 8 September 2018  
IFP Group Events Calendar

Magazine sections
  Growth Markets  
  Regional Overview  
  Tips and Tricks  
  Home Finance  
  Our Meetings
  Legal Issues


IFP Corporate
• IFP Emirates
• IFP Lebanon
• IFP Qatar
• IFP Iraq
• REC Saudi Arabia
• IFP China
Beirut Boat
Energy Lebanon
Project Lebanon
Heavy Max
Hospitality Qatar
Project Qatar
Qatar Hospital Build
Qatar School Build
Qatar Sports Infrastructure
Qatar StoneTech
Qatar Transport & Logistics
Iraq Agrofood Baghdad
Saudi Arabia
Riyadh Motor Show
IFP Group 2018 - © All rights reserved