03.07.2019

World Horti Center knowledge and innovation travels to Erbil, Kurdistan

Letter of Intent for development of a knowledge and innovation centre in Kurdistan has been signed

World Horti Center's international position will be further expanded over the coming period with the development of a World Horti Center in Erbil in Kurdistan. The Kurdish project developer RedYar recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the creation of a knowledge and innovation centre in Erbil.

The project developer has started construction of a 75 hectare food & distribution centre, a wholesale centre offering fruit and vegetables for retail and restaurants. The innovation and knowledge centre will be built on the same site as this ultramodern distribution centre in the future. The plans also allow plenty of space for greenhouse construction, so that independent food production and supply is created in Kurdistan, Iraq.

There is a need for agriculture, horticulture and livestock expertise in the reconstruction of Iraq. The inhabitants are major consumers of fruit and vegetables, and before the war Kurdistan in northern Iraq was mainly self-sufficient. Produce worth 17 billion euro a year is now being imported, of which nearly € 800 million is spent just on tomatoes for this region.

A World Horti Center in Erbil with the triple helix of Research, Education and Business will contribute to the further economic development of the country, and possibly large parts of the Middle East.

Mark Zwinkels of World Horti Center says: “This means enormous export opportunities for the Netherlands. The World Horti Center concept provides an important platform for Dutch and foreign companies, whereby the concept will obviously be adapted to the wishes and needs in this region. Demokwekerij Westland will support the research, and Lentiz Education Group will provide its expertise in (green) education. The Dutch dairy sector is also involved in this massive development project. The collaboration has been arranged through Willem Cosijn, the Netherlands’ Consul-General for Kurdistan.”