In 2006, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) implemented an investment law aimed at boosting various sectors, such as construction and oil, resulting in an influx of labor from across the region. However, the agriculture industry did not receive the same level of attention from the government and investors as compared to other sectors. This disparity led to significant rural-to-urban migration and delays in agricultural projects. Currently, local farmers are facing the challenge of finding markets for their products due to the high availability of low-quality imported products from neighboring countries at a cheaper price, causing many to sell their goods at a loss. (Rudaw’s Article: Kurdistan Region farmers trample own tomatoes in protest of the low product value. 2020). Furthermore, most farmers lack education on modern sustainable farming techniques, advanced agricultural inputs, and infrastructure. There is also a lack of awareness among locals regarding the benefits of consuming fresh domestic agricultural products and their positive impact on the region’s economy. As a result, farmers have lost hope in agriculture as a prime source of livelihood and are seeking alternate sources of income, which has resulted in a decline in the agricultural sector.
Our goal is to establish a Local Food Movement platform that not only addresses the challenges faced by local farmers but also promotes healthy organic foods and supports the community. We aim to foster a sustainable agricultural ecosystem that enhances the regional economy and builds a sense of community. Our approach focuses on four key factors:
1. Marketisation: Conduct market research using a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach to showcase one or two farmers’ products on our platform and connect them with consumers online. If successful, we will introduce Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to enable farmers to supply their goods directly to consumers on the platform at a fair price, without intermediaries.
2. Community Education: Offering training and workshops to farmers, agricultural students, and individuals interested in farming. Our goal is to provide education that enhances the skills and knowledge of the agricultural community.
3. Raising awareness: on our platform about the benefits of consuming fresh organic food and the positive impact of supporting local farmers
4. Seeking investors: to provide effective infrastructure and practical farming tools to help local farmers sustain their agricultural operations. We aim to create a sustainable ecosystem that supports farmers, consumers, and the community overall.