National ownership backed by international expertise

HSAD is led by the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture with support from international partners who will draw upon knowledge gained from completed and on-going projects in Iraq to offer expertise and ensure effective implementation.  ICARDA is the lead center working with:

 

The Program interacts closely with national and provincial authorities, officials across a range of government ministries, and regional committees to ensure that local needs and priorities are taken into account. 

Regional and national partners are:

 

HSAD will develop linkages with on-going and recently-completed projects. This regional expertise will aid and facilitate the initiative's implementation, helping to generate positive impacts on productivity, poverty alleviation, and rural incomes. 

 
The HSAD Project will benefit from an on-going initiative funded by ACIAR-AusAid, and implemented by ICARDA, which is applying conservation agriculture techniques – zero-tillage, stubble mulching, and improved crop cultivars and management practices – to increase the productivity and profitability of strategic crops in Iraq.            
 
Lessons from an IFAD-funded initiative on integrated pest management and its application in areas of date palm production will further inform reform efforts. The development, testing, and adoption of IPM packages have brought rising yields and incomes among participating farmers. 
 
Iraq's livestock sector has also benefited from previous and on-going agricultural research for development initiatives:  small ruminant production and marketing systems in rainfed and irrigated regions have been characterized; improved fodder, conservation, and value-addition options have been tested and adopted; and efforts have also been made to build the capacity of farmers and technicians. An IFAD-funded initiative, for instance, has introduced improved production technologies such as reproduction management and strategic feed and dairy processing as a means of building the resilience of communities against climate change. 
 
In the area of improving competitiveness, HSAD could learn from a USAID-funded agri-business initiative which has demonstrated the potential for profitable commercial livestock and horticulture enterprises. Value chain analyses, effective business development plans, and private seeder involvement have successfully enhanced productivity and lowered production and marketing costs. 
 
A regional USAID-funded initiative implemented by a consortium of US universities, led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also offers useful lessons on the development of efficient, effective, and financially sustainable rural extension and advisory service systems. 
 
Finally, given the severe threats and constraints posed by salinization in Iraq, an ICARDA-led three-year study into the causes of salinization could provide Project leaders with the evidence and knowledge base required to devise solutions and strategies to more effectively manage and reduce this debilitating constraint.