Rapid Capacity Assessment of Agricultural Extension Workers in Sinjar and Al-Hamdaniya Districts

Key findings
Recommended Intervention Strategies
The below list displays the recommendations informed by the findings from this report, and are
listed in no particular order: Although future implementation will depend on financial resources
available for implementation, these recommendations would address many of the negative
factors affecting both EW and agricultural households but require household level beneficiary
selection. These recommendations are not mutually exclusive and could be implemented in
parallel with one another.
1. Voucher Based Distribution System of Agricultural Materials
A voucher-based distribution system would address the majority of crop based and livestockbased
interventions requested (see Table 3) while also addressing some structural issues of EW.
This approach is scalable based on the capabilities of the funding agency. It also provides
dedicated communication channels for EW and implementers to follow up with beneficiaries and
provide further assistance if necessary. Furthermore, it improves the capacity of EW to later assist
these beneficiaries since they are registered into the Department of Agriculture’s official registry
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s)
This assessment provides a rapid capacity assessment of Agricultural Extension Workers in Sinjar
and Al-Hamdaniya Districts. Its aim is to identify gaps in the agricultural extension system and
provide recommendations for programming that would improve the quality and availability of
that system to assist returnee households. A specific focus was placed on the area of Sinuni, in
Sinjar district during the data collection phase. Information about assistance to returnee
households was also emphasized. After collecting data from local Key Informants and Focus
Group participants, this assessment focused on identifying potential areas of intervention that
could be operationally feasible in Welt Hungerhilfe’s (WHH) future implementation.
District level agricultural extension workers in Sinjar and Al-Hamdaniya face a litany of obstacles
preventing them from providing demonstrative support to agricultural producers on a wide scale.
These obstacles stem from two sources: inadequate resource coordination from the Ministry and
Departments of Agriculture and repercussions from recent conflict in the Nineweh Governorate.
In addition, information and communication regarding the scope of work and capacity of the
annual agricultural is not successfully circulated to all EW personnel between the Department and
Directorate of Agriculture. District extension workers have numerous shortages: adequate
funding, stores of agricultural inputs, updated registries of agricultural producers, transportation,
timely compensation, equipment. In addition to these challenges, extension workers face a large
bureaucratic process with few feedback mechanisms to address farmers’ needs. Although general
agricultural support was satisfactory prior to the 2003 Iraq War and the conflict with Daesh, the
large capacity gaps in agricultural households make it imperative to support extension workers
and returning inhabitants to their communities.
Local inhabitants face overbearing obstacles and debt due to their low relative productivity and
high costs of production. This has made their livelihoods both more risky and difficult to subsist
on. Simultaneously, in Nineweh the Directorate and Ministry of Agriculture have targeted the EW
resources for only grain and barley producers who are publically registered land holders.
Agricultural producers are in need of support for agricultural crops production, livestock
production, physical and mechanical infrastructure as well as mechanisms to address ineffective
and non-transparent Department of Agriculture protocols. This assessment identified a number
of intervention mechanisms to address many of these needs. These include: a voucher-based
distribution system of agricultural materials, a Cash for Work program to target damaged or
missing infrastructure, and a targeted supply chain intervention. All of these strategies would help
alleviate structural issues within the Department of Agriculture’s operations while also bringing
higher productivity and improved livelihoods to agricultural returnees and female-headed
households in both Sinjar and Al-Hamdaniya.
Report completed
Iraq > Ninewa > Al-Hamdaniya
Iraq > Ninewa > Sinjar
Food Security (Iraq)
Assessment report