Iraq Pilot Farm

Project Overview

Enduring Harvest was established by Dr. Sajad Zalzala, an Iraqi American practicing physician in the United States. Early in his career he recognized a direct correlation between food and disease. He wanted to improve global food security and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change by providing sustainably produced healthy food, employment opportunities for at-risk communities and education centers.

The Iraq Pilot Farm is located in the southern Province of Samawah, Iraq which was chosen due to its remote, peaceful location and the positive impact the farm would have on the environment and the people. The land has been seriously degraded in the area causing extreme poverty. We plan to improve the natural conditions of this region for the local communities, starting with our 20-acre regenerative farm. This farm will act as blueprint for what we are hoping to replicate in other at-risk nations.

Project Concept
  • 1. HydroponicsBuilt within a fixed greenhouse or hoop house, Deep Water Culture (DWC) is a very water-efficient to plant water-intensive crops. This allows year-round crop yields; nutrients would come from aquaculture, also known as fish farms.
  • 2. Aquaculture and ProcessingExisting in a custom-built or prefabricated structure, the fishponds used to raise and farm fish provide nutrient-rich water that is pumped through the hydroponics, closed-loop system. We can improve plant and fish health by oxygenating the water using EarthWise Global’s nano-bubble technology.
  • 3. Solar panels with battery storageThese solar panels are ground-mounted, making it more efficient for maintenance. Simple, widely used techniques can be used keeping solar panels cool and clean in. They will be powered Gel Acid or Lithium-Ion battery storage and as a back-up, a gas generator can be used.
  • 4. Irrigation system (Responsive Drip Irrigation)Responsive Drip Irrigation uses 30-50% less water than Standard Drip Irrigation (which is 40% more efficient than conventional irrigation). It will be installed 8in deep by a tape-injector and 16 inches apart. For trees, additional vertical feeders needed down the sides of the trees allows for deeper tree roots. This Irrigation system will be fed by gravity storage tanks and is designed to last 10-30 years once installed.
  • 5. Water retention ponds/Outdoor FishpondsThese have been dug in-ground and lined with a pond liner. They will be used to raise fish, creating extra revenue and nutrients for plants. Various plants like Duckweed, Azolla and seaweed can be raised in ponds to attract insects and/or feed fish directly. Fish water can be pumped to the irrigation storage tanks, serving as a large reservoir for irrigation. This will prevent the extraction of water and other natural resources from the surrounding area.
  • 6. Grazing LivestockA mix of goats, sheep, cows, and other grazing animals are vital to the regenerative aspect of the farm. They will all be holistically managed to prepare the land for planting crops by will providing natural fertilizer for the crops and trees. This will efficiently create healthier soil and farmlands.
  • 7. Mobile Chicken CoopChickens will follow grazing livestock by a few days, feeding off insects that appear after grazing. The chicken eggs will provide ongoing source of income. Mobile chicken coops can be built out of readily available materials and directed using mobile electric fencing.
  • 8. Trees/Permaculture/AgroforestryThe trees will be planted in tight rows alternating patterns approx. 25-30ft apart. Specific tree species will be selected that are climate tolerant and have multiple functions. Produce crops that can be harvested from the trees are fruit, nuts, timber, or other similar products.
  • 9. Crops/Alley CroppingCrops will be Irrigated with RDI system and soil, water, and air conditions will be monitored using Agrology sensors and app-based platform for the most efficient crop yield. We use a state-of-the-art machinery to insure no-till plant to keep the integrity of the soil. The ground will be fertilized by the livestock, and a mix of cash crops, cover crops, herbs, spices, and medicinal crops will be grown based on grazing and seasonal schedules.
Project Roadmap
Estimated completion date:

Phase 3 - November 2022

Project goes live.

Phase 2 - October 2021

Construction started.

Phase 1 - May 2021

Project was born.

This project is possible thanks to donors like you.

If you believe in a dignity-first approach to serving our world’s most marginalized communities, consider supporting our work.