Brown Field Network, August 8 – The US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns arrived in Iraq Monday to discuss the future of Iraqi agriculture with high level officials and Iraqi agricultural producers. Agriculture is the second largest industry in Iraq and employs a quarter of the nationâ€™s work force.
â€œMany people are surprised to learn how important the agriculture sector is in Iraq and how much potential it holds,â€ said Johanns.
On Tuesday, Johanns and Iraqâ€™s Deputy Prime Minister Salam Zukam Ali Al-Zawbaâ€™I signed a joint statement of intent to continue partnerships between U.S. and Iraqi universities to strengthen and broaden Iraqâ€™s agricultural extension and education system.
The USDAâ€™s Foreign Agricultural Service will match U.S land-grant colleges with Iraqi universities to provide training for Iraqi faculty on extension services and education on a variety of topics.
â€œAgriculture can make a significant contribution to rebuilding the Iraqi economy,â€ Johanns said. â€œU.S. land-grant colleges and universities have the expertise to help Iraqi agricultural universities with their efforts to rebuild Iraqâ€™s food and agriculture sector.â€