Many people in Iraq depend on agriculture and food production for their livelihoods.
Qudra 2 focuses on supporting employment and income generation for the most vulnerable. Together with our local partner, Rehabilitation, Education and Community Health (REACH), eight main irrigation canals have been rehabilitated in Kirkuk, Iraq to create the basis for a more productive agricultural economy. The infrastructure improvements benefit hundreds of farms.
In addition, 62 vulnerable farmers were directly supported through agriculture grants, training and individual veterinary visits and consultations. Also, 33 people received training and in-kind grants. For some, this was seed funding to establish a start-up. In contrast, for others, it was a business development grant for their small business to increase revenue and potentially employ more people.
To show vulnerable farmers alternatives to their current practices that build on their existing resources, the Qudra 2 programme and the experts of Permaculture Resources Ireland have set up a demonstration farm in Ayadiyah, Nineveh. The farm is located on land allocated by the Directorate of Agriculture.
So far, 84 men have received training on permaculture. Trainees were encouraged to value a diversity of crops, taught how to cultivate soil and harvest more water, and how to combine animal and plant systems.
By diversifying crops away from monocultures, farmers can generate more stable incomes and promote sustainability. Building soil, and managing plant and animal systems, reduces their dependency on external inputs such as fertilisers. They will receive a grant to put their learning to practice. The trainees will be supported with monitoring visits and mentoring sessions for the next six months to ensure that the support provided has an impact.
Additional training is planned for 56 women to support them in producing food to meet their families’ basic needs.
Qudra 2 and Permaculture Resources Ireland also provided introductory training for 20 women from Qudra 2’s local partner Amalna Centre in Mosul. The garden of the community centre , which generally provides MHPSS services primarily to local women, was designed together with the women to create a safe, productive, and beautiful space. The garden also demonstrates urban agriculture methods such as growing food in small places, using water efficiently and producing on vertical surfaces – all by reusing materials available at home. A second training phase will focus specifically on creating direct income-generating options.