National and international partnership agreements signed

Dr. Mahmoud Solh, Director General of ICARDA, has signed formal agreements with the partners of the Harmonized Support for Agriculture Development (HSAD) project. Since the HSAD project began in 2012, a number of national and international organizations have become involved. Earlier this year each organization defined its role.

On May 1, ICARDA and the Consortium of US Universities – including University of California, Davis, Texas A&M University, the University of Florida, and the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign – signed a sub-award with HSAD. Sub-awards are agreements laying out each party’s role – in this case providing technical assistance to the HSAD agricultural extension program.

Also in May, Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) signed an agreement with HSAD, laying out the organization’s responsibilities. IFPRI will be leading research into both policy and the regulatory constraints of agriculture in Iraq, and assessing what technology farmers in the region need. Their research will focus on the new seed laws and legislation, and their potential impacts. IFPRI will also research related policy, including delivery systems of inputs such as fertilizer and irrigation.

Partners in Iraq are the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The Ministry of Agriculture will identify and act on limitations to agricultural production, and build the capacity of agricultural officials involved in policy making. The Ministry will also work to reduce production costs in agriculture, focusing on produce and crops that are vital to national food security. HSAD and the Ministry have jointly identified areas that need more work and research, and have developed a plan of action for reforms.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources for the Kurdish Regional Government also provide support to HSAD.