Thursday, 18 April 2019 15:17

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) celebrates 40 years in Iraq

Baghdad (17 April 2019) – Under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Representation in Iraq organized a celebration marking 40 years of FAO’s presence in Iraq. The celebration was held under the theme “Working Together to Achieve Zero Hunger.”

Ever since Iraq joined FAO in 1945, the two sides enjoyed a history full of cooperation encompassing a wide range of fields that included response to emergencies, rehabilitation, and development, through provision of technical expertise, capacity building of staff and the supply of basic agricultural and food inputs, particularly during the difficult years of economic sanctions and wars. This year’s celebration aimed to enhance FAO’s cooperation with its main partners, in addition to unifying efforts to eliminating hunger, with the goal of ensuring food security for all.

In his speech at the ceremony, FAO Representative in Iraq Mr. Fadel El-Zubi underlined that since the establishment of its country office, the agency has been working to make its resources and expertise meet the development priorities of Iraq.

“FAO offers its assistance to beneficiaries in collaboration with the Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Health and Environment, as well as its other partners, in accordance with its plans and programmes through investment planning, rehabilitation and upgrading of agricultural research and extension of services, as well as veterinary services and plant production and protection,” Mr. El-Zubi said.

Mr. El-Zubi noted that FAO has been working to restore degraded agricultural land and ensure higher productivity of water resources in agriculture, focusing on the development of inter-ministerial agro-environmental information systems, strengthening of research institutes, support to service providers and irrigated farms to restore saline soils, strengthening stakeholder capacities in order to increase water productivity, and promoting sustainable land management practices in degraded areas.

Minister of Agriculture Dr. Saleh Hussein Al-Hassani highlighted FAO’s role and its contributions to various sectors in Iraq.

“Over the past years, FAO has contributed to the development of cadres of our ministry through the establishment of training opportunities and the implementation of programmes and projects through which the transfer of new technologies, including fish culture with floating cages, which he said has contributed significantly in the provision of fish at lower prices.

Dr. Al-Hassani also referred to in his speech, which was delivered on his behalf by his advisor Dr. Mahdi Al-Qaisi, to FAO’s contribution to the programme of artificial insemination of cows as well as buffalos, which was one of the programmes implemented last year.

The minister also referred to FAO’s role in fighting pests threatening date palms in Basra to prevent their spread to other areas as well as the agency’s contribution to ensuring regional cooperation between Iraq and neighboring countries.

The minister offered his best wishes to FAO, voicing appreciation of its role and cooperation with Iraq over the past years and emphasizing readiness for further cooperation in the future.

The celebration included a piece of theatre showcasing the rich history of Mesopotamia. The piece, by Iraqi Fashion House, highlighted the history of Mesopotamia and means adopted by old civilizations in achieving food security.

The celebration was concluded with an exhibition of photos of FAO’s projects and activities since its establishment, in addition to an expo of Iraqi agricultural products.

The celebration was attended by representatives of diplomatic missions, UN, parliament and other international agencies, the public and private sectors as well as the Ministry of Agriculture employees.

For more information, please contact:

FAO Communication Officer Mowaffaq Al-Refai
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: FAO


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