Mushroom Farm Reopens after Tragedy
The Hameediyah Mushroom Farm was established in 1984, just west of the city of Ramadi. The company is privately owned by the Khirbit family. During the 1980s, the business flourished, but sales and production slowed dramatically in 1993 at the start of Operation Desert Storm.
Tragedy struck in 2004, when a bomb destroyed a house on the property. The explosion also killed one of the Khirbit brothers and forced the family to shut down the company for good.
However, in 2008 the family revived their business after receiving a USAID-Inma Agribusiness program grant of more than $600,000 to repair the farm. Production was restarted in June 2009, but throughout 2010, the farm struggled trying to reach full capacity of 9.5 metric tons per month, only managing to reach 75 percent of that goal.
In January 2011, USAID-Inma provided technical assistance by hiring a mushroom specialist for two months to work with the company on their production issues. As a result of the training, the facility surpassed its full capacity goal and was producing 9.8 metric tons per month by the summer of 2011.
The USAID-Inma marketing team is now assisting the company to address critical marketing strategies. One way is linking the company with packing houses that can store the mushrooms in refrigeration in Baghdad during the summer months until the mushrooms can be distributed to the company’s regular buyers and bulk customers such as hotels and restaurants.
Out of tragedy has come triumph for the Khirbit family and the Hameediyah Mushroom Farm. The USAID-Inma team will continue to work with the company as they continue to grow and prosper.