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Trade mission to Iraq focuses on agricultural cooperation

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Iraqi farmers have used hybrid corn seed to grow crops, and a U.S. trade mission has arrived in the country.
Iraqi farmers have used hybrid corn seed to grow crops, and a U.S. trade mission has arrived in the country.

Those who use farm equipment to make a living in Iraq are being visited by almost 20 U.S. companies and representatives from the American government.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the purpose of the trade mission is to help further business ties between the two countries and examine the chance for combined projects and opportunities. The trip is being led by the department's Foreign Agricultural Service.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that the mission is part of the U.S. government's efforts to help stabilize Iraq's economy through new partnerships.

"The partnerships we are developing with the Iraqis will be critical to providing the agricultural commodities and food products necessary to meet the demands of Iraq's growing population, and this mission provides tremendous opportunities for all parties to benefit," Vilsack said.

A recent effort from the USDA's Provincial Reconstruction Team led to Iraqi farmers using hybrid corn seeds. As a result, these producers were able to plant and harvest the corn, which they sold to the Iraqi government. In turn, the corn was sold at a better price on the local market because of its higher quality, the department said.ADNFCR-2034-ID-19827651-ADNFCR

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