In an effort to continue to build on U.S. and Iraqi cooperation over the past three years, USDA and the Government of Iraq signed a statement of intent on August 1, 2006, to work together to strengthen Iraq's agricultural extension and education system.
The project aims to support Iraq in restoring, expanding and sustaining a private-sector driven Iraqi agricultural sector. To reach this goal, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service and Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service will provide $7.8 million to link U.S. land-grant universities to Iraqi agricultural universities and related institutions.
Through this unique partnership, Iraqi university faculty members, students and extension personnel will receive both short-term, non-degree training and long-term graduate education at U.S. land-grant universities and USDA agencies. They will have the opportunity to attend specialized technical workshops in third countries and develop train-the-trainer instruction materials.
This education and training will help develop the institutional expertise of Iraqi universities and extension specialists so they can transfer technical agricultural knowledge to Iraqi farmers. The knowledge gained will improve teaching, research and extension at Iraq's agricultural institutions, and bolster the delivery of agricultural extension programs at the national and local levels.
Potential areas of technical cooperation include wheat, barley, rice, fruit and vegetable production, sheep and goat breeding, animal health, water resource management, and irrigation technology.
The Iraqi people will ultimately benefit from this project, because it will help build the capacity of the country's agricultural sector, its economy, and its ability to trade with other countries.
General information about FAS programs, resources and services is available on the Internet at the FAS home page: http://www.fas.usda.gov