Refugees trained on vegetable, poultry farming for food and income

Thousands of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region are expected to benefit from projects created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FOA) to provide job opportunities and new skills. 

The German-funded projects, which will be operating in the Erbil and Duhok provinces, will train Syrian refugees in greenhouse vegetable cultivation. 

It will also provide Iraqi families with hens for egg production and meat as well as equipment and training for bee-keeping to process honey."Families are struggling, some resorting to reducing their meal sizes or the number of meals each day, selling productive assets, or buying food on credit," said Fadel El-Zubi, FAO Representative in Iraq.

"Through restoring and providing alternative livelihoods, this project will support government efforts to reduce long-term dependence on emergency food assistance and enable people to recover as quickly as possible." 

2,400 people from 150 villages received 9,600 hens, equipment and 80 tons of feed during the first week of June.Throughout the course of one year, hens are likely to produce approximately 1.38 million eggs as well as 1,200 kilograms of meat. 

This will provide each family with food as well as an income from the sale of any surplus eggs.An additional 2,400 people will receive bee-keeping training and equipment for honey production as well as dairy and fruit processing which will produce a variety of dairy and fruit products for sale. 

3,000 Syrian refugees living within two refugee camps, one in Erbil and one in Duhok, will receive training on greenhouse vegetable farming.Each camp will receive ten greenhouses and will initially focus on growing cucumbers and tomatoes to meet high market demand for these products. 

The income accumulated will allow families to be able to afford extra food and other necessities. Six years of conflict in Syria and Iraq has left 3.2 million people food insecure.The FOA projects will help ease the strain on host communities as well as provide refugees and IDPs with a means to support their families and create more stability in the future. 

The $1.6 million FOA projects are funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

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