During a recent visit to Erbil in the Kurdistan autonomous region of Iraq, Professor Margaret Patterson of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and His Excellency, Professor Serwan Baban, Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources exchanged two contracts for AFBI to supply scientific training and consultation services to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The agreements follow a series of meetings between AFBI and the KRG in both Kurdistan and Northern Ireland. In Kurdistan, the AFBI team visited the Central Veterinary Laboratory and the Departments of Animal Health and Plant Protection. This resulted in proposals to the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources for the supply of scientific advice and consultation services in the areas of animal health and welfare and food science.
The first contract outlined services to be supplied by AFBI in relation to accreditation of the KRG scientific laboratories, and the second detailed a comprehensive study of livestock, horticulture and food security. Both are to run for a period of one year.
During the signing ceremony, Professor Baban confirmed the priorities of the Ministry in raising the work of their laboratories to internationally recognised standards. The Minister also explained that the safety and health of citizens is the responsibility of everyone. He stated that the KRG has to take serious steps in this area and stressed that the Ministry was dedicated to ensure the success and results of contracts signed. Prof Baban also reinforced the importance of knowledge transfer between organisations, universities and institutes globally to raise the level of scientific expertise for those working in the field of agriculture and veterinary sciences.
Following the meeting Prof Patterson of AFBI said “The importance of food safety and security in the whole supply chain should be a priority for all regions of the world. AFBI is looking forward to working with our scientific counterparts in Kurdistan to deliver on these agreements”.
Notes to editors:
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