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Kurdistan Economy

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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:01 pm

KRG Assists Farmers in Agriculture

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has launched an initiative to help farmers buy agricultural equipment on a long-term payment installment scheme in an attempt to strengthen the farming and agriculture industry in the Region

Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources Begard Talabani in a news conference this week said the government has launched an initiative whereby Kurdistan's farmers can buy farming and agriculture equipment on a long-term payment installment scheme.

As a first step, the government gave two tractors to two farmers in the Region on a long-term payment installment scheme. Other equipment will also be made available for purchase in later stages.

To foster economic diversification in Kurdistan, the government is proactively strengthening the agricultural sector through a range of initiatives. These efforts include addressing water scarcity challenges, introducing incentive programs, and encouraging and facilitating the export of agricultural goods, including potatoes, pomegranates, rice, sumac, and most recently, tomato paste.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/826809
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 15, 2023 11:12 am

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Assyrian park opens in Duhok

After two months of extensive work, the historical archeological park of the ancient Assyrian King Sennacherib in Duhok province’s Khinis was officially opened to tourists

The 2,700-year-old monument is regarded as the most extensive historical carving in Iraq. Restoration efforts were undertaken by a team from the University of Udine in Italy, in coordination with the Duhok Archeological Directorate, and the opening ceremony on Thursday was attended by the Italian ambassador and consul general in Baghdad and Erbil, as well as local Duhok province officials.

    With the restoration, important artifacts of the Assyrian empire were saved from destruction, dedicated to King Sennacherib who ruled the Assyrian empire from 704 to 681 BC
The Sennacherib Archaeological Park comprises a water wall, intricately carved depictions of Sennacherib, his family, and 22 others on a substantial rock surface, as well as statues of winged bulls.

“First of all, the opening of this park will make this place an important tourist destination. At the same time, it will be an important source of income for Duhok province,” Bekas Brifkani, head of Duhok’s archeological directorate, told Rudaw’s Naif Ramadhan.

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The University of Udine and Duhok’s archeological directorate have worked together for almost a decade since 2012, spending three months of the year researching archeological sites in the region.

    The University of Udine has so far recorded nearly 1,140 archeological sites in Duhok province, according to Brifkani
In a similar ceremony in October last year, Kurdish and Italian officials opened another Assyrian archeological park in Duhok province's Faida area, the first of its kind across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, in the presence of UNESCO.

The park is located in Faida, south of Dohuk and comprises 13 two-meter-height sculptures engraved on its walls dating back to the reign of the Assyrian king Sargon II (705-721 BC) and his son Sennacherib.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/people-places/14102023
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 16, 2023 2:25 am

Scholarships for students

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On the recommendation of Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research on Sunday offered fully-funded scholarships for students in the “disputed (stolen) territories” outside the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) areas who want to study for the academic year 2023-2024

A commonly used term among the Region's authorities, the “disputed territories” usually refers to Makhmour, Nineveh, and Kirkuk, which are claimed by both the KRG and the thieving Iraqi federal government as their own provinces.

The higher education ministry has issued the fifth amendment to Directive No. 11 of 2023 on studying for a high school diploma, master's degree, and PhD in public universities in the Kurdistan Region, offering financial grants free of charge to students.

Applicants are permitted to begin their academic studies directly with other admitted students if the school’s specific department can admit teachers and professors per the guidelines. Otherwise, their studies will be postponed until the following academic year, but their right to admission will remain protected.

A total of 15,728 applicants took the scientific proficiency test when the higher education ministry offered scholarships at 14 public universities for the academic year 2023-2024.

Earlier, Zhala Saeed, Director General of Research and Development at the higher education ministry, indicated that 7,614 seats were dedicated to higher education.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... erritories
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 17, 2023 11:13 pm

Aasphalt recycling plant

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday inaugurated an asphalt recycling plant in Erbil, making it the first facility of its kind in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, according to a readout from Kurdistan (KRG)

The Prime Minister gave remarks during the inauguration ceremony, in which he indicated that this project is part of his cabinet’s environmental protection and economic reform programs.

Barzani also stressed that this is the first step toward building similar factories in other provinces.

“We encourage the private sector to develop similar projects so that we can make better use of previously discarded materials. The KRG has a program in place to promote environmental culture," he stated.

The plant has the capability to produce 2,000 tons of tar daily by recycling road materials, specifically asphalt, and recrafting them for road maintenance and construction.

Rawezh Rasoul, an engineer at the factory, stated that “the project is eco-friendly and cost-effective, consuming less fuel per hour.”

"The project involves pulverizing asphalt by grinding down the existing road surfaces, allowing us to reuse it for new road construction. It is environmentally friendly, emitting no dust, smoke, or CO2 gas," noted Emad Muhammed Amin, the Director of Road Maintenance in Erbil.

Amin added that "this initiative is an example of pioneering in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq; [...] In its initial phase, we will use recycled asphalt in the construction of the Erbil-Qoshtapa Road."

Moreover, Prime Minister Barzani on June 22 laid the foundation stone of one of the largest and “strategic” cement and power plants in Erbil province.

    Today, we inaugurated the country's first asphalt recycling plant in Erbil. With a capacity of 160 tons/hour, it mixes up to 30% of old, discarded asphalt.
    From today, excavated asphalt across Erbil province will be recycled, protecting the environment and reducing emissions. pic.twitter.com/mcTBkrRTeM
    — Masrour Barzani (@masrourbarzani) October 17, 2023
https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32884-PM-Barzani-inaugurates-asphalt-recycling-plant-in-Erbil
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 19, 2023 12:13 am

Zakho Agriculture Exhibition

The town of Zakho is hosting its first honey and pomegranate exhibition to showcase local products on Wednesday

"Farmers are asking the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to assist them in marketing their products and exporting them, and also in addressing water scarcity challenges, which the government has been consistently responding to in recent years," Mohammed Salman, the head of the agriculture department in Zakho, told Kurdistan 24 on the sidelines of the event.

This week, the KRG Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources launched an initiative whereby Kurdistan's farmers can buy farming and agriculture equipment on a long-term payment installment scheme in an attempt to strengthen the farming and agriculture industry in the Region.

As a first step, the government gave two tractors to two farmers in the Region on a long-term payment installment scheme. Additional equipment will be offered for purchase in subsequent phases.

In a proactive approach to promote economic diversification in Kurdistan, the government is actively enhancing the agricultural sector through a series of measures. These initiatives include addressing issues related to water scarcity, implementing incentive programs, and promoting the export of various agricultural products, such as potatoes, pomegranates, rice, sumac, and most recently, tomato paste.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/827334
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2023 11:48 pm

Economic instability

Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Saturday acknowledged that lack of public trust in banks, caused in part by economic instability, is an obstacle in his government’s efforts to digitize the banking sector

“One of the main problems and obstacles to having a strong and advanced banking system in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region is the lack of public trust in banks, which is due to many reasons, especially the instability of the political and economic situation,” he said at an economic forum in Erbil.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) “will provide all assistance to the banks in order to build trust between the banks and the citizens … the banks should expand their services,” Barzani said.

On Wednesday, an advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani told Rudaw that low trust in Iraq’s banking institutions means some 80 percent of household cash is being kept in people’s homes.

Barzani promised “quick changes” to expand the reach of electronic banking services, saying that electronic payment machines will be encouraged and the number of ATMs will be “increased tenfold.”

The KRG will also modernize “how it pays and collects revenue” and its pension payments, said the premier.

“Within the next two years, pensioners in the Kurdistan Region will no longer have to spend hours in the summer heat and winter cold to receive their salaries. Instead, on a certain day, their money will go into their bank accounts,” he said.

Retirees often have long waits in front of banks to collect their pension payments and several have even died in the queues.

As the Iraqi dinar continues to lose value against the US dollar, Barzani said that the KRG will continue to work with Baghdad. “We will combat money laundering,” he stated. “We will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the federal government to stabilize the Iraqi dinar.”

The federal government has struggled for several years to stabilize the dinar after devaluing it in 2020 during a liquidity crisis. It is also under pressure from the US to stem smuggling of dollars into Iran.

Last month, the Central Bank of Iraq announced that all transactions inside Iraq must be made in dinars starting in 2024.

Many banks across Iraq have started preventing customers from withdrawing their money in dollars and only allowing them to withdraw in Iraqi dinars at the value set in the budget. The move has drawn a public outcry as the value of the Iraqi dinar against the US dollar in the markets is much lower than the one set out in the budget.

The three-year federal budget passed in June set the exchange rate of $1 to 1,300 Iraqi dinars. The value of the dollar currently sits at around 1,600 dinars in the currency markets of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

The depreciation of the Iraqi dinar has been attributed to the smuggling of dollars out of the country, mainly to neighboring Iran. The US in July banned transactions with 14 Iraqi banks for allegedly violating its rules. The move was another hit to the value of the Iraqi currency.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/21102023
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 25, 2023 9:48 pm

Report on Erbil's Finances

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Wednesday convened to reiterate support for the recent joint Erbil-Baghdad auditing report on Kurdistan's revenues and expenses

Today, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a meeting of the KRG Council of Ministers, where the cabinet commended the recent cooperation and coordination between Erbil and Baghdad on auditing KRG's payroll, revenues, and expenses, according to a statement from the KRG.

The cabinet encouraged continued dialogue and cooperation between KRG teams and federal Iraqi authorities to find enduring solutions to lingering budget issues.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Barzani instructed the KRG’s delegation to build on recent positive developments with Baghdad.

Over the past few months, the Kurdistan Region has faced difficulties guaranteeing the prompt disbursement of salaries to its civil servants, largely stemming from budgetary disputes with Baghdad and the cessation of crude exports since March of this year.

Erbil is pursuing enduring remedies to tackle these persisting challenges in its relationship with Baghdad, all while maintaining strict adherence to the nation's constitution and the existing agreements between the two parties.

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https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/828136
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 25, 2023 9:53 pm

Education Reforms

Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has highlighted the importance of education reform and his government's commitment to providing quality education for the region's students

The Kurdish leader made these remarks on Wednesday during a speech he delivered while inaugurating the Majidi Basic School in the capital Erbil.

During his speech, he expressed his delight at visiting the school and commended its orderly and modern facilities. He extended his congratulations to those involved in the construction of the school, particularly thanking Mr. Ahmad for his contribution to the project.

PM Barzani noted that new technology had been incorporated into the school's infrastructure, creating a conducive learning environment. He emphasized that the classrooms had been designed meticulously to meet the needs of the students.

The Prime Minister conveyed his gratitude to the dedicated teachers who continue to impart knowledge to the region's students. He expressed hope that their commitment to education would inspire others to follow suit.

The Kurdish leader underscored that a school should be a comfortable place where students feel at ease, not only to acquire knowledge but also to receive a holistic education. He emphasized that students learn more than just reading and writing at school; they learn how to tackle real-life problems and challenges.

The government's responsibility, he asserted, is to create a suitable and orderly school environment for the beloved students.

Acknowledging existing shortcomings in various areas, the Prime Minister affirmed the government's ongoing efforts to build new schools and renovate existing ones. He pointed out that numerous schools had already been upgraded, and additional schools were under construction. The commitment was to provide more schools throughout Kurdistan.

PM Barzani praised the work of the cabinet in the realm of education reform, particularly commending Alan Hama Saeed, the Minister of Education, as a “successful” leader in the government. He extended his appreciation to all Ministry staff and directors for their dedicated service.

The Prime Minister expressed empathy for teachers who have faced challenges, especially in relation to salary issues. He acknowledged their resilience and determination in continuing to teach despite difficult circumstances.

He also voiced his support for teachers who have not been able to continue their studies and advocated for their rights, vowing that the Kurdistan Regional Government was eager to provide their salaries as soon as possible. He called on all political parties to unite in demanding the rights of teachers and all Kurdish people, emphasizing that the government would not allow any teacher to lose their rights.

Concluding his speech, Prime Minister Barzani congratulated the school and its students, expressing his hope for their success and academic achievements.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/828077
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 25, 2023 9:58 pm

Kurdish financial entitlements

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers convened on Wednesday and was chaired by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, according to a statement from the KRG

The meeting began by discussing the results of the KRG delegation’s visit to Baghdad on Oct. 18, where it met with Iraqi finance ministers and auditors.

The council instructed the finance ministry and the delegation to remain in constant contact with their counterparts in Baghdad.

In terms of transparency, the council emphasized that the Kurdish government presents all information and figures candidly, and does not willingly withhold information from the public.

The ministers also ensured that the data, information, and figures are accurate, leaving, as they argue, no excuse for the Iraqi government to obstruct the distribution of the Region's “financial entitlements.”

Fariq Sulaiman, the audit head of the KRG, later highlighted necessary measures of the joint investigation process between Erbil and Baghdad.

To make the audit process successful, as Mr. Sulaiman reasoned, the finance ministers of the Kurdistan Region must coordinate with Baghdad to provide the necessary information and data related to revenues, expenditures, and public property.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... RG-council
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 26, 2023 1:01 am

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Bumper rice crop

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region - Rice farmers in Sulaimani province's Piramagrun are hard at work picking this year’s crop, which after a rainy winter, yielded a bumper harvest forcing farmers to use both traditional sickles and combine harvesters in the process

Rice is planted between April and May. The harvest season usually begins in mid-October every year.

When there is enough rainwater, farmers in the village of Chalakh turn about 200 dunams of land into paddy fields.

“In April, we begin plowing our paddy fields, and around the 20th of the same month, we start sowing the seeds. Then we maintain the crops until October when we begin the harvesting process,” said Faraidoon Karim, a member of the Chalakh Village Council.

“Most of our rice buyers come directly to the village. Those who are familiar with us request our rice, and we make sure to deliver it to them. The demand is substantial, and typically, we sell all our rice within a span of 10 to 15 days,” Karim added.

The satisfied rice farmers told Rudaw that this year they are dealing with a bumper harvest, an expression used to describe an unusually productive harvest.

“There are many varieties of rice, but what is grown in our village is mostly yellow, red, and green,” said Sabir Ahmad, a rice farmer.

The 15 farmers working on the paddy start their work in the early hours of the day.

“Part of our paddy field has been damaged by rain, windstorm, and lightning, so we have to sow it with a scythe, otherwise we would have harvested it with a combine harvester and it would have been easier,” said Bakhtiar Ali, another rice farmer.

In recent years, the amount of agricultural land dedicated to rice production in the Suleimani province increased significantly.

A total of 358 dunams of land were devoted to growing rice in 2021, rising to 556 dunams in 2022, and 793 dunams in 2023, according to data from the General Directorate of Agriculture of Sulaimani.

This year, the expected production of rice in Sulaimani province is between 360 and 400 tons, with the price per kilogram varying from 3,000 to 5,000 dinars depending on the rice type and where it was grown.

Kurdish rice is typically associated with Akre, a small town in Duhok province 60 kilometers north of Erbil.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/251020231
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 27, 2023 8:56 pm

Water reservoirs in Koya district

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is set to build several water reservoirs as part of conservation efforts in the Koya district of Erbil province amidst severe water shortages and low rainfall

The nearly $500 million project, to be overseen by the KRG’s Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, will construct the reservoir in the Ashti sub-district of Koya, ideally solving livestock and agriculture water needs in several villages.

Mullah Osman, a resident of Qul Qula village, said, “In 2001, there were about 80 houses in our village. The drought caused most villagers to leave their homes and migrate to cities, sparing them from water shortages.”

Exacerbating the issue is that some wells have not been refilled, making livestock farming difficult.

Faris Muhammed, a contractor for the project, told Kurdistan 24 that the project is part of the KRG's “agenda to build as many reservoirs and dams as possible across the Kurdistan Region.”

Over the past two years, more than 30 water projects have been constructed in the Ashti sub-district to improve the agriculture, livestock, and drinking water situations.

A reservoir is typically defined as an artificial body of water designed for water conservation purposes. They are frequently built in close proximity to dams, which help facilitate the drainage process from waterways downstream.

According to the KRG’s ninth cabinet, the main purposes of its water conservation projects are to protect water resources, collect water for the agriculture and tourism sectors, support farmers, provide job opportunities, prevent flash floods, and increase groundwater.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... a-district
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 28, 2023 4:41 am

Duhok rice output

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Nearly 5,200 acres of land have been planted with rice in Duhok province this year, which is expected to finalize the production of 23,000 tons of rice in 2023 before the year comes to a close, according to a statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) media department

Ahmad Jameel, the province’s agriculture director, stated, “The ninth cabinet pays great attention to agricultural production and the markets for farmers' products, which has led to increased rice production and increased domestic rice demand. The Kurdistan Region requires 300,000 tons of rice yearly.”

Additionally, Mr. Jameel noted that several types of rice are grown in the Kurdistan Region, and he argued that the quality of Kurdistan rice is “superior to imported rice.”

“The price of rice in the markets is favorable for farmers this year, since rice is exported abroad, which is good support for farmers," said Aziz Muhammed, a farmer in Duhok, while referencing the concept of supply and demand.

“A new level has been reached in the agricultural sector under the ninth cabinet, allowing farmers to export and produce more easily," Muhammed added.

The Middle Eastern subcontinent, along with Asia as a whole, heavily relies on rice as a staple source of nutrition. Globally, around 517 million tons of rice are expected to be consumed in 2023.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... ed-in-2023
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 29, 2023 12:03 am

Ongoing Violations of Rights

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cannot remain silent in the face of continued violations of its constitutional rights and financial entitlements, spokesperson Peshawa Hawramani says

"Recently, the Kurdistan Regional Government demonstrated its goodwill to reach an agreement with the federal government. We have fulfilled all our duties and responsibilities. If this situation persists, we cannot be silent in the face of the constitutional rights of the people of the Kurdistan Region getting violated," Hawramani said in a statement on Saturday.

The federal government was supposed to send the Kurdistan Region its financial entitlements last week. The payment has now been delayed again, contrary to bilateral agreements, Hawramani added.

A KRG delegation is expected to return to Baghdad to meet with federal authorities to push for a lasting solution to these recurring budgetary issues.

In recent months, the Region has encountered challenges in ensuring timely salary payments to its civil servants. These difficulties have mainly arisen from budget disputes with Baghdad and the halt in its crude exports since March of this year.

Erbil is actively seeking long-term solutions to address these ongoing issues in its relationship with Baghdad while upholding the country's constitution and honoring existing agreements between the two parties.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/828424
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 30, 2023 10:31 pm

Modern park to be built in Erbil

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A large-scale park is to be constructed in Erbil at a cost of more than $1 million, according to a statement from the Erbil Governorate

The park will be constructed in the Zhian neighborhood on an area of ​​17,000 square meters.

Preparations have been completed and construction is scheduled to begin shortly.

There are 450 parks, gardens, and forests in Erbil, and the “foliage rate” in the city has reached 19.5%, according to figures from the governorate.

Erbil's verdures are a valuable asset to the city, providing residents with an opportunity to escape the smog of bustling vehicular traffic, which overwhelmingly dominates the province.

Moreover, the lack of a public transportation system in the country has caused an overreliance on private vehicles, leading to concerning amounts of air pollution.

Ideally, the green spaces provide an important habitat for wildlife, helping to preserve the biodiversity of the city. The spaces also aim to help reduce water contamination and provide recreational opportunities for city residents.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/33 ... t-in-Erbil
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 31, 2023 3:56 pm

KRG Committed to Self-Sufficiency

Kurdistan's Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday inaugurated a modern packaging company in Erbil city as part of government endeavors to develop industry sectors, and diversify the Region's economic infrastructure

"We want to reach self-sufficiency in the Kurdistan Region, whereby we can make and build everything here at home. This will also create job opportunities for people," the Kurdish leader said during the inauguration ceremony.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) remains committed to supporting, assisting, and facilitating work for the Region's private sector. In collaboration with the private sector, we hope to develop Kurdistan and meet Kurdistan's needs here at home."

The Fabyab Packaging Company is able to produce 20 million square meters of carton in a month. It is the largest packaging company throughout Iraq, and the sixth largest across the Gulf countries.

It has the capacity to meet packaging demands from the Kurdistan Region, southern and central Iraqi provinces as well.

Despite grappling with persistent financial and economic hardships, this KRG cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani is resolute in its dedication to enhancing infrastructure networks and modernizing public services in the Region.

This commitment is evident through a range of endeavors, including the expansion of public services, the construction of contemporary residential complexes, the establishment of cutting-edge healthcare and educational facilities, the development of state-of-the-art university campuses, the enhancement of road and bridge networks, and the creation of numerous dams, reservoirs, water treatment plants, factories, and vital infrastructure elements throughout Kurdistan.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/828695
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