Iraq’s Kurdistan Seeks Agricultural Inspiration in the Netherlands

In the course of October and November, 2021, two back to back agricultural delegations from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq visited the Netherlands. Mr Karim Sleman, deputy minister of Agriculture and Water Resources led both of the delegations, the first one consisting of director generals and agricultural advisors of the ministry; and the second one consisting of eight leading Kurdish agricultural companies.


“Soon, the World HortiCenter-Erbil will offer everything from vocational training up to doctorate degrees. This way we will ensure that the workforce will be ready to tackle the big revolution of hi-tech greenhouses in Iraq”, said Rawas Ibrahim, CEO of the Green East Land company in Erbil, delegation co-organizer.

The delegations visited several horticultural, floricultural, dairy and poultry companies in the Netherlands. The greenhouse, flower and dairy sectors are promising sectors for Kurdistan. They provide options for expanding trade and cooperation with Dutch businesses for supply of seeds and other inputs, guidance on innovative technologies and know-how, or for collaborative partnerships.

The first delegation started in the Westland area, the cradle of Dutch greenhouse horticulture. The Horticenter and neigboring family companies in a very professional way showed the delegation around in their greenhouses, demonstrating high tech vegetable production, smart water and energy management and the transition towards sustainability. The delegation got a clear impression of how education, research centers and companies operate in the Netherlands.

The second delegation had talks with a number of the Dutch greenhouse and dairy companies to explore the business opportunities between companies in both countries.

“We consider this visit as one of the most successful visits.” “That is why we as the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources will help the Kurdish private sector to cooperate with the Dutch private sector so that they can transfer these developments to the Kurdistan.” Mr Karim Sleman, deputy minister of Agriculture and Water Resources of Kurdistan Region Iraq said.