Farmers promote conservation agriculture in Iraq

March 15, 2010 at 9:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
A modified version of the popular Rama local seeder, used successfully for zero-till planting by project  farmers in Ninevah province

A modified version of the popular Rama local seeder, used successfully for zero-till planting by project farmers in Ninevah province

Field days are usually organized by research or development agencies – but the ACIAR-AusAID Iraq Project on conservation cropping, as always, is different. Last month, 20 farmers working with the project organized their own field day at Al Namrud village in Ninevah province, Iraq. The participants included farmers from surrounding villages and staff from the collaborating Directorate of Agriculture and Mosul University. The field day highlighted farmer-managed zero-tillage demonstrations and farmer-developed zero-till planters, modified versions of the popular Rama local seeder. Farmers who had experimented with zero tillage methods and equipment were eager to show other farmers their experiences and the benefits of the new technology.

One striking demonstration comprised two fields: one under zero-tillage, the other conventionally plowed. Even experienced farmers were unable to tell which was which – showing clearly that zero tillage gave the same performance as conventional plowing, but with large savings in cost.

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