A new climate change adaptation initiative is due to get underway in southern Iraq, after the Basrah Gas Company (BGC) and the UN World Food Program (WFP) signed an agreement last week in support of local farmers in the Al Zubair district of the regional capital.
The initiative is designed to increase incomes and boost agricultural production.
The project will introduce tested solutions to combat desertification and support water conservation in the farming sector. WFP and BGC will collaborate closely with the Directorate of Agriculture, the Farmers’ Association, and local farmers in the implementation phase, the UN agency said in a press release.
The initiative will train farmers on applying smart agriculture techniques, modern farming methods such as so-called “soilless farming” and water-saving irrigation systems.
The project will also focus on empowering female farmers by building capacity and self-employment in cooperation with the designated local authorities in the district.
This collaboration, which was finalized during the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai last month, comes at a critical moment for global transformative climate action.
“Our strategic approach in Al-Zubair aligns with the urgent need to combat the effects of climate change in southern Iraq. Al-Zubair district is one of the regions in Basrah most affected by climate change. There are frequent sandstorms, heatwaves, water scarcity, pollution, and salinity,” said WFP Country Director and Representative for Iraq Ally-Raza Qureshi.
“This project underscores our joint commitment to promoting sustainable livelihoods, community cohesion, and effective adaptation strategies for the evolving agricultural landscape in Basrah.” UN News