Agricultural businesses in Iraq have the potential to benefit from technology that could help them become significantly more productive in a sustainable manner while boosting food security and job opportunities for both settled and displaced persons. That was the message from Tom Davies, Head of Africa & Middle East Corporate Farming, speaking at the Corporate Farming Conference at the Ministry of Agricultural Supplies in Baghdad on September 18.
Working with a single company that has good knowledge of the local market and a proven commitment to sustainability, plus the scale and scope to supply and support many of the machine and vehicle requirements of large-scale farming enterprises – from farm equipment to earth-moving machines to haulage vehicles – offers multiple advantages, he suggested.
“From tractors, tillage and seeding/planting equipment to sprayers, crop harvesting machines and balers, Case IH is a single-source provider of farm equipment that, as part of CNH Industrial, can also supply CASE earth-moving equipment to prepare the land, and IVECO trucks and commercial vehicles to transport goods and workforce,” outlined Mr Davies.
“Case IH can further help Iraqi agriculture to sustainably improve its productivity through technology such as Advanced Farming System (AFS) precision farming and telematics solutions and, through the CNH Industrial range of AgXtend advanced technologies, a number of complementary new management tools. These include FarmXtend connected field sensors, Xpower electrical weed control, the SoilXplorer soil sensor/mapper, the NIRXact crop/slurry constituent sensor and the CropXplorer crop biomass sensor, allowing customers to further enhance the efficiency of their tractors, implements and harvesters.
The conference was organized by AF Ohab, a US-based company that works across multiple development projects in Iraq, supported by EXIM USA. CNH Industrial and its agricultural brand Case IH were invited to participate in the event, which was attended by over 150 delegates, key farming business managers, journalists and ministry staff, discussing and exchanging ideas on mechanization and development of corporate projects to enhance Iraqi agriculture.
One of the most important Middle East agricultural markets, Iraq is seeking to reduce food imports and improve farm efficiency and food security. Mr Davies suggested turnkey solutions could help by ensuring food production businesses are equipped with supported packages of agricultural, construction and transportation equipment to suit their specific needs, helping Iraq’s aims of food security, sustainability and employment.
“A supplier which understands the demands of agriculture in this region, and can provide and support products that meet its particular challenges – not only in agriculture but in land improvement and in transportation – could help agricultural businesses to take a significant step forward in productivity,” he said.
“Working with a single supplier gives the advantage of benefiting of common procedures, systems and support, but there are some other reasons too. For example, a company with the resources of CNH Industrial can help to provide education and knowledge transfer on subjects such as operating and servicing, for both new and existing employees, helping create and sustain jobs for both settled and displaced persons.
“With the substantial investment made in modern technologies, we can help to transfer our training knowledge to teach best practices in machine operation, servicing and maintenance. Knowledge transfer and education of the local workforce in advanced mechanized technology is provided by CNH Industrial specialists for the first two years of an investment project.”
Training for operation and servicing brings employment benefits
Such investments can bring about significant benefits for the local population, Mr Davies suggested.
“The need for trained staff to service and operate equipment can create work for up to 50 people for each farm project, helping assist the return of IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Iraq through the development of job opportunities.”
Support from a wide knowledge base
“Supported by product specialists, technical advisers, full service and parts back-up and specialist precision farming and telematics staff, we form a large team with a formidable knowledge base. We are able to advise all groups involved in agricultural operations, from stakeholders on their purchase and finance options to managers and operators on getting the best from their machines when establishing, protecting and harvesting their crops.
“As examples, we have large corporate farming businesses to whom we have supplied complete fleets of Case IH tractors, sprayers and harvesters as well as earthmoving machines with cane loading attachments from our CASE Construction Equipment brand, supported by specialist selected providers to deliver service and training. Others have sourced from us Case IH tractors and harvesters, CASE Construction Equipment long-reach excavators and backhoe loaders, and heavy-duty trucks from IVECO ASTRA – another brand of CNH Industrial – supported by operator training, pre-delivery inspection, field set-up and scheduled follow-up visits, with an official CNH Industrial distributor providing day-to-day site presence and any warranty repairs and parts supply required.
“We can provide these types of integrated vehicle packages to cover crop production and fleet management for agricultural enterprises producing crops as diverse as cereals, oilseeds, cotton, coffee and sugar cane. With this capability and our local market knowledge, agricultural businesses in Iraq have the potential to become more efficient, productive and sustainable by working in partnership with us at Case IH and other CNH Industrial brands.”
The event concluded with workshop sessions involving delegates and Case IH personnel, while business-to-business meetings were also held between key staff from the business and farming enterprise owners