RVO fact-finding mission KRI and Iraq - VetEffecT

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Business opportunities in dairy and horticulture in Kurdistan Region of Iraq
RVO Zuivel-Horti Missie & Agropack Beurs in september in Kurdistan  - 17 - 20 September 2023
The Dutch Consulate in Erbil in collaboration with RVO and VetEffecT organises a mission for Dutch entrepreneurs to identify business opportunities in Kurdistan region in sustainable dairy and horticulture. In the provinces of Sulaymaniyah, Halabja and Erbil, visits are planned to cattle and goat farms (dairy and cheese), processing plants, Dutch greenhouses (hydroponic with packaging line as business example), and potato plants. Water, land and energy aspects will be addressed. Participants will also visit the AGRO Pack, have the opportunity to present their own products/services, and participate in matchmaking events with local investors, business representatives, and staff of the regional agricultural directorate. Moreover, business events with government officials, investment boards and investors will be organised. The programme can be adapted based on participants' needs and suggestions, therefore feel free to inform us about any visit requests. You can choose the dairy programme or the horticulture programme.

Please find below the two programs to choose from. For more information on the KRI Dairy Sector & Market, its needs and the business climate in KRI, please continue reading below.

See also on the RVO website HERE

To apply click HERE

Deadline for application: 12 September

  • Expected growth of per capita dairy consumption per year from 52 liters in 2018 to over 90 liters in 2025.
  • Market: approx. 558 mln Liters  of milk ; value 670 mln USD
  • Iraq’s population is 44 million people of which 6 million in KRI.
  • KRI can supply whole of Iraq: used to be self-sufficient in its dairy production and there is a real ‘dairy culture’ present.
  • Dairy sector is currently underdeveloped but should be able to recover much of its strong market position it possessed several decades ago.
  • Several modern dairy farms and factories developed/under development
  • Local milk production supplies only 10% of domestic demand; around 90% of milk consumption is from imported milk (Saudi Arabia) or milk powder.
  • Approx. 40% of the local milk production is processed by industrial dairies and 40% by artisanal 'cottage' dairies
  • There is strong interest in locally produced milk products.
  • Yoghurts, whey products, and sheep milk cheeses are very popular. Most yoghurts for sale in the supermarkets are made with imported milk powder.
  • Mostly private extension services. Strong need for knowledge.
  • Government puts strong priority on agriculture sector. Environmental sustainability is increasingly focus of government.

  • Cattle
  • A.I. and semen
  • Crop production improvement
  • Feed/premixes
  • Farm buildings and milk parlours
  • Mechanisation & maintenance
  • Equipment & maintenance
  • Water saving techniques in feed, husbandry and dairy processing
  • Prudent use of veterinary drugs and antibiotics
  • Veterinary services improvement
  • Extension services
  • Better quality  in dairy production and processing
  • Technical assistance, training and capacity building
  • Better organisation of dairy cooperatives or farmers organisations
  • Agriculture and horticulture is ahead of dairy in terms of development
  • Several new dairies developed since 2020
  • New (calf) meat farms developed
  • Farm buildings are locally constructed, milk parlors are imported
  • Existing business relations Kurdish companies and Dutch companies
  • No import second hand agricultural machines allowed
Business climate and country situation
  • Autonomous region in Iraq
  • NL-KRI Joint Advisory Committee JAC has produced a report to the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources  (MinAgWR) on a new agricultural policy 2023-2026
  • Supportive and open
  • Price-sensitive
  • Safe working environment

KRI Dairy Sector
  • Sulaymaniyah Governorate (incl Halabja): 16 dairy farms, some with Friesian or Simmental cows; many small dairy factories, 4 larger ones; 6 feed factories for 90% dependent on imported ingredients; over 300 local wholesale and retail shops selling agricultural goods; access to veterinarians.
  • Erbil Governorate: 36 dairy farms, most with local cows some with crossbreds and 2 planned large modern farms in Barzan region; 4 larger and many small dairy factories mainly using imported milk powder and 2 big factories under construction; 18 feed plants, depending for 70% of their produce on imported ingredients; over 300 companies trading agricultural goods.
  • Duhok Governorate: 14 dairy farms, only with local cows, many having closed again; 1 big meat cattle company; 3 larger and 65 small dairy factories mostly using imported powder milk; 6 feed plants depending for 90% of their production on imported ingredients; 65 veterinary clinics.
  • Milk collection centers: Duhok and Baran. Mostly small farmers deliver milk there, for production of yoghurt and cheese.
  • Dairy product sales through supermarkets and direct to consumers.
  • In addition to the above, there is processing capacity in Central/South Iraq (near Baghdad; in Basra; near Karbala city).
  • Main challenges: feed prices, water efficiency, quality of veterinary services etc.
  • Existing imports from Turkey (miking parlors) and Saudi Arabia (packaged milk)
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