New leadership for Iraq conservation agriculture

July 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr Stephen Loss

Dr Stephen Loss recently joined ICARDA’s Amman office to lead the third phase of the Iraq Conservation Agriculture Project with funding from ACIAR. Under the leadership of Dr Colin Piggin, the first phases of the project demonstrated significant cost savings and yield increases with reduced tillage, and worked closely with local manufacturers to make cost effective zero-till seeders available to farmers in northern Iraq and Syria. The subsequent adoption of reduced tillage in these countries has been encouraging. Stephen says “I’m looking forward to the challenge of maintaining the momentum of this important project and collaborating with the numerous partners in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Australia”.

Stephen obtained his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with Honours and his PhD in Soil Science and Plant Nutrition from The University of Western Australia. He has more than 25 years experience working with cereals and legumes in the Mediterranean-type environments of Western Australia. The uptake of conservation cropping in this region has exploded over the past two decades and it was recently estimated that more than 90% of farmers currently use reduced tillage seeders. Stephen is joined by his wife Sheelagh and their three children.”My wife and I spent two months at ICARDA in Aleppo in 1997, and the whole family is now looking forward to the wonderful cultural experience of living in Amman,” he says.

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