Official decries stalled project

Farmers in Koya face low prices due to lack of cold storage facilities

ERBIL, September 4 — Farmers in Koya, east of Erbil, say they are being forced to sell their crops at low prices due to the absence of suitable storage facilities, while the Department of Agriculture claims the regional government is not responding to demands for the construction of cold storage warehouses for local fruits and vegetables.

The Little Zab River flows for about 60 kilometers within Koya district, making most of the land fertile and suitable for agriculture. Every year, it yields tons of various crops.

Yusuf Salim, Director of Koya’s Agriculture Department, told 964: “We have repeatedly requested the establishment of cold storage facilities in the district, but the regional government has not responded seriously. Several years ago, approval was granted for an investment project to build a cold storage warehouse worth 500 million dinars, but it has not been implemented yet.”

“We produce hundreds of tons of agricultural crops daily and send them to markets in the Kurdistan region and Iraq. Most of these products are sold at low prices for fear of spoilage in the absence of cold storage facilities in the city,” he added.