Thursday, May 17, 2007

US program for rebuilding Iraqi farming

"The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the contract for the Inma Agribusiness Program in Iraq to Louis Berger Group, Inc., a professional services firm based in New Jersey. Inma is a three-year, $343 million program, with two one-year option periods. Complementing USAID's other economic growth programs, Inma will work with the Government of Iraq to support the development of agribusinesses and agricultural markets. This activity will improve the livelihoods of farmers while energizing Iraq's agriculture industry, the single largest source of employment and second largest contributor to the overall gross domestic product in the country.

Inma, meaning "growth" in Arabic, will help build meaningful linkages between farmers, agribusinesses, financial services, and domestic and international markets. Technical advisors will support national and local government agencies as they adapt to the rapidly evolving legal, regulatory, and public service needs of a free market economy. By promoting public- private partnerships and dialogue, Inma will stimulate local and national policy-making opportunities."

It looks like the US is engaged once again in promoting US business methods (see previous post). Why not? The liberation of the Iraqi people has worked so well, there is no doubt the liberation of Iraqi agriculture will be a resounding success. I wonder how the Louis Berger experts intend to carry out their field work. In armoured vehicles? Or will they do it from the safety of their air conditionned Amman or Washington.

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