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Basra #1 © Action contre la Faim Irak



In Iraq, the agroecology helps Qassim to work on his own land

After several years of cultivating the family land, Qassim had to abandon it. Indeed, the land, damaged by the intensive use of chemical pesticides, did not produce a large enough quantity, and the use of traditional tools allowed him only a small yield requiring a lot of work. This activity did not allow him to generate an income and to support himself and his family. Moreover, the lack of support from the governmental authorities as well as the lack of agricultural knowledge and resources (money, workers) was taking a heavy toll on the farmer. He took a new job in the construction sector hoping to make a living.

In February 2021, he was selected to participate to ACF’s project and was provided with a greenhouse, as well as with equipment such as organic fertilizer, gardening kits and tools to be able to cultivate its own production. Moreover, a dripping irrigation system network was installed on his land. Finally, Qassim has been granted with agro-ecology training to build his capacity, but also allow him to work in a more efficient and qualitative way.

Basra #2
© Action contre la Faim Irak
Basra #3
© Action contre la Faim Irak

Qassim has taken over the cultivation of his family land: every morning, he goes around his land, inspects the irrigation system, before harvesting his crop with his brother. Every two days, he goes to the market to sell his harvest, which gives him a sense of accomplishment and pride. 

"Our local production quality is better than the exported"
Bassora, Irak

He grows different types of seedlings and seasonal vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes and lettuce year round. In addition to increasing his production, he and his household now rely solely on his crops as their primary source of income:  “I am having increase in production up to 50 kg of crops, which allowed increase in my income”.

For him, being able to produce his own food has also become a way to reduce his household’s expenses and focus their purchases on other necessities. He stated: “I am able to have my own food basket now, less expenses for the whole family my parents and children”. He also decided to help other households in his village to provide for their needs: “We are now are food secure, and supporting other families in my area, relying on our own production rather than exporting.


THE impact of the climat crisis in iraq


It is recognized that food security and economic recovery form together the backbone of long-term post-conflict stability. Although the conflict has ended, sources of instability remain across Iraq, with economic stagnation affecting nearly every aspect of Iraqi society. An increasing number of Iraqis are being forced to rely on negative coping strategies, including falling into debt, switching to less expensive (nutritious) foods and consuming fewer meals per day, to deal with the lack of livelihood opportunities.

In Al-Qurna District and Al-Dair District, the direct impact of climate change on the resources available to the communities has affected and strained the population’s opportunities while increasing their needs.

The first outcome of climate change is the decrease of water supplies, mainly due to the reduction of precipitation this trend being aggravated by the upstream dams that have reduced the quantity of water coming to Basra. Moreover, the quality of the water is low, linked to the high level of salinization of the water but also to its strong pollution. This chronic issue has not been addressed for decades in Basra, with the area, remaining underserved compared to other areas in Iraq.

The above mentioned factors have drastically reduced the water flow in the channels – which are connected to the farmland. Such developments have had a knock-on effect in reducing the ability of farmers to continue agricultural activities. The drastic reduction of agricultural space has been further compounded by the dire condition of the irrigation channels, such as severe blockages.

On top of the issues related to the poor water quality and quantity, the recurrent use of pesticides and unnatural fertilizers in large quantities has drained the land of its resources and nutrients, leading to low yields and lower quality of the production. In addition, the farmers are facing increasing threats – such as recurrent drought, dust, or local fauna ( insect and bugs) , –  which are jeopardizing their crops and are lacking of capacities and adequate equipment to be able to overcome the above-mentioned challenges, and have a sustainable source of livelihood and income.


agricultural support : the core of our Action


Between August 2020 and April 2021, Action Contre la Faim (ACF) intervened in Al – Qurna and Al-Dair districts (Basra governorate) in order to enhance the resilience of vulnerable household – at risk of displacement due to the impact of climate change – through agricultural support.

This project was rooted in a three-pronged approach in order to ensure the sustainability and the efficiency of the action :

  • Water conservation and management through the implementation of efficient irrigation techniques as well as the rehabilitation of irrigation channels, and the provision of agro-ecology and organic farming practices training.
  • Improvement of the agricultural productivity through the establishment of greenhouses, the provision of grants to acquire small cultivation machines and the rehabilitation of solar and diesel pumps.
  • Creation of livelihoods opportunities – in order to improve agricultural businesses while enhancing market linkages – through the provision of trainings on Food Processing and Marketing, and of a grant to develop small businesses.

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