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USGC Helps Build Successful Partnership in Iraq

by 5m Editor
22 May 2009, at 9:53a.m.

IRAQ - A Senior Director of the US Grains Council (USGC) describes the successful development of the Iraqi poultry industry over recent years, which has also increased demand for US feed grains.

Chris Corry, USGC Senior Director for International Operations for Rest of the World, writes:

On the flight home from a business trip to Amman, Jordan, I had earlier this month, I could not help but reflect in amazement over the opportunities for growth in the Iraqi poultry industry and how the US Grains Council has contributed to the survival and future prospects of its growing industry. The Council's successes in Iraq have proven to be yet another example of how the win-win nature of international development will create promising opportunities for both Iraq and the United States.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Council contacted several major poultry producers in Iraq who had survived the turmoil and destruction of the previous decade. The Council was able to bring Iraqi producers together and show them that, while they may be competitors, the benefits of working together to restore the poultry industry would help them tremendously in the long run, providing the Iraqi people a more affordable food supply, additional rural employment opportunities and agricultural development.

With the Council's assistance, the Iraqi producers joined forces to form the Iraq Poultry Producers Association (IPPA). The IPPA hosts workshops and educational opportunities and has published several pamphlets on the best management and production practices for local producers. It also acts as an effective lobbying force with the government to ensure the best possible production and trade scenarios exist in Iraq.

In the current marketing year, September through January, corn imports are low at 180,000 metric tons (7.1 million bushels), but imports are set to quickly increase as the political situation in Iraq improves.

The IPPA looks to the Council less and less for financial support as it has become a successful institution, carrying out its messages throughout the country. Now that the threat of violence has passed, new obstacles include competition from low-cost imports and government policies that inhibit imports of essential production inputs. Leaders of the IPPA say these barriers are manageable and will be solved. The successes the IPPA will bring are vital to the United States, as it establishes additional international trade opportunities for US products.

It's all about picking the right partners and working collectively to help Iraq gain the capacity to confront problems and overcome them together.