The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH), announced today the seven WE4F Iraqi winners of the Call for Innovations. This program selects small- and medium-sized Iraq-based enterprises with innovative solutions to grow more food while using less water and energy. The selected Iraqi winners will receive a total of $1.5 million in customized financial, technical, and investment support to grow their businesses, combat resource scarcity, and advance Iraq’s transition to a green economy.
The support from WE4F Iraq will enable the winners to expand the impact of their proven solutions to create more skilled job opportunities in green technologies and improve food security for thousands of people in Iraq and the broader region, all while protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity. The following seven companies have been selected to receive support through the USAID-supported Iraq Call for Innovations:
- Ainda Agricultural Center – Develops solar-powered smart irrigation systems that will help farmers reduce water use by up to 70% and provides professionally-designed solar systems that can help overcome the lack of electricity required for pumping and irrigation distribution.
- Al Radhwa Solution (Albu Saif) – Uses hydroponics to grow barley in a more sustainable and cost effective manner, decreasing the cost to feed their cattle, as well as their clients.
- Bahir al Kamal – Installs solar systems for smallholder farmers on a needs basis, reducing farmers’ electricity bills, and maintenance and generator fuel costs.
- Burj al Iraq – Reclaims agricultural land through desalinated irrigation with subterranean PVC pipes, helping to protect the soil and enabling better yields for farmers.
- Dhiaa al Alamiyah – Grows barley more efficiently and sustainably by using hydroponic systems to reduce water usage, land requirements, and costs. The barley is used to feed sheep and is sold to other livestock farmers and traders.
- GreenScape – Provides advanced water-saving, wastewater treatment, and water harvesting solutions. By using Aquasorb technology, water and nutrients are retained for the maximum productivity in farming.
- Nakhla – Provides maintenance and consultation services for date palms owners, which improves production and extends the lives of the palm trees.
Climate change is causing food and water shortages across the country. To tackle these challenges, the MENA RIH supports promising and innovative companies and organizations working to produce more food while using less water and more sustainable energy resources.
WE4F is a joint international initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). To learn more, visit we4f.org and follow WE4F on Twitter @WE4FGCD.
The WE4F Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (a consortium of Berytech, cewas, Chemonics Egypt and the International Water Management Institute) supports innovators in ten countries across the region to produce more food while using less water and energy. Together with investors and partners, the MENA RIH works to scale mid-to-later stage enterprises that have an environmental and social impact in the water-energy-food nexus.