Worldly Wednesday: What’s with all the Iraqi Agricultural Buzz?

If you’ve been wondering what all the agricultural buzz in Iraq has been about lately, it’s because SALT International’s team will be arriving in northern Iraq at the end of the month.

That’s right. A soybean developing team. That rhymes. But doesn’t make much sense.

Let me put it this way:

Instead of providing RELIEF work to less-developed countries, SALT International provides DEVELOPMENT to less-developed countries. Instead of rolling into a hard-hit city or village, giving food/clothes away and essentially ruining the economic development in the country by doing so; they’ll roll in, build a metaphorical foundation with the leaders, educate and train farmers to grow soybeans, buy the soybeans from them, mill the soybeans into animal feed, and sell it to animal farmers. This provides farmers with cash. This provides workers with a job at the mill. This provides animal farmers local commodities instead of them having to import expensive animal feed into the country like they have to now.

Weapons of Mass Construction

(my dad’s on the right. my brother, Jesse, has a hand on the circular saw)

Here, I’ll let them explain it now:

So what’s the plan for Iraq?SALT has started an LLC (Limited Liability Company) and has trained four families to run a soy mill company. Our business model includes soybean production and processing. On our team is an agronomist who will be working with around 20 farmers this first year to grow soybeans. After the beans are harvested, they will be sent to the soy mill to be processed. The processed beans will then be sold to a poultry company as feed.

Over the next 3-5 years, we will continue to expand the number of farmers growing soybeans for us and increase the production of feed. This business model is profitable enough to sustain four families. Currently, northern Iraq imports 100% of it’s feed from overseas and it is extremely expensive and poor quality. We hope to change this.

Our business will bring the whole process of making poultry feed inside the country. This should lower food costs, increase food security for the region and increase the quality of feed being consumed.

Our team will be working closely with local employees, farmers, government officials and university students and professors.

I’m super excited about this project.

One, because of how awesome it is. Two, because my Dad is the director of the organization, and I’ve watched this grow from a seedling philosophy in his head to what it is now. Also, one of Michael and my best friends, Justin and Molly Carney, are on the team and we’re excited to see their dream of living in Kurdistan (northern Iraq) fulfilled.

You might or might not have remembered the interview that I did of Millad and Jesse, two workers in Afghanistan. That is also SALT International’s project.

My Dad and his team at the soy mill they built in Afghanistan

I just wanted to share my excitement about this development project with you. If you’re interested in more information about them, check out their website or ask any question in the comments.

This development for third world countries idea is really close to my heart. I’ll probably be talking more about it in the future.

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