U.S. Agency for International Development

Horticulture Cluster

The Hameedyah Mushroom Farm: Was rehabilitated with USAID-Inma assistance and is now selling fresh mushrooms to Ramadi and Baghdad markets. Approximately nine metric tons of mushrooms are produced monthly. USAID-Inma provided a short term mushroom specialist to assist them to increase production.

Fruit and Vegetable Packing Facilities: USAID-Inma supported the establishment of five packing houses in Iraq. The packing houses utilize modern post-harvest technology and equipment and employ efficient methodologies for cleaning, sorting, grading boxing and storing fruit and vegetables.

Orchard and Vineyard Program: USAID-Inma imported certified varieties of fruit trees and seedless table grapes to improve the genetic material of Iraqi orchards and vineyards. USAID-Inma is provided technical assistance for the planting and care of thousands of certified and commercially tested varieties of trees and table grapes in Iraqi orchard and vineyards.

Field-Based Learning Centers: USAID-Inma is now establishing nine Field-Based Learning Centers (demonstration farms) to exemplify the newest methods for commercial agriculture. These centers will create a positive learning environment for farmers, traditional (indigenous) methods and modern (commercial) methods will be planted in the same locations. These sites will allow farmers to compare different methods and measure yields and cost per unit.

Open Field Vegetable Program: USAID-Inma provides technical assistance and training to clusters of open field vegetable producers promoting use of quality seed, irrigation, fertilizer, insect, disease and weed control.

Farmer Field School (FFS): USAID-Inma introduced the FFS methodology in Iraq. FFS is a group based hands-on learning process in which a group progresses through a series of courses. There are five basic aspects to the FFS: adult education, facilitation, plant-animal life cycles, group study and farmer group development. The objective of the FFS is to help farmers analyze their production system, identify obstacles, and find possible solutions suitable to their farming systems, as well as introduce new technologies.

Corn Trials: USAID-Inma is working in cooperation with Mesopotamia Seed Company owned by the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and Pioneer Company to introduce modern non-GMO corn hybrid varieties to Iraq. USAID-Inma field staff have organized and supervised the planting of four new non-GMO corn hybrid varieties in eight different regions in Iraq. These locations and the plot design meet the MOA requirements for registration of varieties, which prove to be adapted to Iraqi conditions. Six of the trial sites are located on USAID-Inma Field Based Learning Center (FBLC) sites in Baghdad, Diyala, Babil, Diwaniyah, Basara, and Muthana provinces. The other two corn trial sites are located on new cooperator farmers in Salahadin, and Kirkuk.

Greenhouse Program: USAID-Inma provides technical assistance and training to selected greenhouse clusters in different regions so that commercial greenhouse farmers are able to produce through the Iraqi winter when market prices are highest.

Strawberry Demonstration: USAID-Inma worked with Iraqi farmers to implement nine donums of strawberry demonstrations using modern technologies including drip irrigation.

Nursery Multi-span Greenhouses: USAID-Inma is working with Iraqi farmers to install multi-span greenhouses in three sites. These new transplant nurseries will demonstrate watering booms, floor covers and growing benches, floating row covers, active and passive cooling, misting systems, shade cloth and roll up side walls with insect exclusion netting, for summer production and heating systems for winter production.

Open Field Crops: A muskmelon farm in Wasit is demonstrating melon production using a lay flat irrigation system provided by USAID-Inma.

Potato Demonstrations: USAID-Inma is working with two farmers to demonstrate modern technology in potato production. Iraq imports at least 700,000 Metric Tons of potatoes every year and there is an opportunity to profitably replace these imports with Iraqi production, if yields and quality can be improved. USAID-Inma has provided quality seed and drip irrigation equipment for the two sites. USAID-Inma is working with the growers to introduce new techniques, which should result in improved yields and make Iraq competitive in potato production. USAID-Inma conducted field days during harvest for 60 farmers.