U.S. ag trade mission arrives in Iraq
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service this week is leading a trade mission of about 20 U.S. companies in Iraq to meet with more than 100 Iraqi entrepreneurs and buyers to develop business ties and explore opportunities for joint ventures.
'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,' said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in a statement.
The U.S. companies on the mission are large and small, representing commodity, consumer-ready food, and forest product industries, as well as agricultural input suppliers including equipment and irrigation manufacturers.
As Iraq's agricultural sector grows, USDA has adjusted its strategy to focus more on market development and market access for U.S. products.
The USDA said agriculture is Iraq's second-largest economic sector, accounting for 9.6 percent of its gross domestic product and employing about 20 percent of the country's workforce.