The course, which started on Monday 4 July, took two weeks and focused mainly on soil health and water management. The Kurdish Autonomous Region in Iraq aims to take serious steps toward sustainable agriculture.
Howard Koster (Soil Biology) coordinates the course. ‘The IOM (International Organisation for Migration, ed.) reached out to us. This UN organisation aims to offer migrants a perspective in their new country of residence. They assist migrants in starting up projects for their country of origin. A Dutch person of Kurdish origin said: “We are the country of the Euphrates and Tigris, the birthplace of agriculture, but we have fallen back. We must take the lead. And in the Netherlands, there is an excellent agricultural university that can help us.” He reached out to us with the IOM, and that is how it started.’
Four groups joined forces to organise the course: Soil Biology (Rachel Creamer, Howard Koster), Farming Systems Ecology (Rogier Schulte), Water Systems and Global Change (Carolien Kroeze, Maryna Strokal) and Water and Soil Management (Karrar Mahdi). Stephan Mantel of the soil museum is also involved in the course. In addition to lectures, there are field trips to the greenhouses in Bleiswijk, strip-tilling in Lelystad and the Wageningen Food Safety Research labs.
More info at this link.