Irrigation: Smallholder Agricultural Revitalization Project
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Smallholder Agricultural Revitalization Project
Although Iraq is considered an upper-middle-income country, a turbulent past and ongoing fragility have caused a noticeable share of its population to fall into poverty. Low agricultural productivity has been a characteristic of Iraq’s agriculture for the last two decades and has made the country dependent on imports to meet its domestic food needs. Agriculture is mostly practiced on small farming units and is a low input–low output system. The agriculture extension services for technology transfer, particularly for small producers, are weak. Due to a lack of post-harvest facilities, considerable food losses are often reported.
This project aims to enable poor smallholder farmers to improve crop and livestock productivity, develop activities to diversify their income sources, and become more resilient to the effects of climate change. Activities include rehabilitating or completing irrigation schemes to supply water to 8,322 hectares in the project area, improving nutrition by diversifying crops, and developing and increasing dairy, fish and poultry production. Marshland communities who are engaged in fishing, raising livestock and hunting will also be included.
The project will also strengthen farmers' organizations and women's and youth associations by helping them undertake productive investments both on and off the farm.
The project is being implemented in the four southern governorates of Missan, Muthanna, Qadisiya and Thi Qar. The level of poverty in these governorates is among the highest in the country. The project is expected to reach 15,795 smallholder households and benefit a total of 140,000 rural people in the target area.