November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
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Iraqi Seed Project

Giving a Hand, Not a Handout



From “The Iraqi Seed Project” Newsletter, Vol. 1


Background: Iraq and the Fertile Crescent are often referred to as the birthplace of agriculture. Crops such as wheat, barley, lentils and chickpeas were first cultivated there over 7,000 years ago. After years of war, sanctions and environmental degradation many Iraqi farmers are now struggling to feed their families.  Today Iraq imports much of its food supply.  Wheat, which originated in the region, is now imported from the United States and Australia, and Iraq is now one of the fastest growing markets for US agricultural exports.

The Iraqi Seed Project seeks to document the daily reality of farmers on the ground and to honor the rich history of farming in the Fertile Crescent. The hope is to connect Iraqi farmers and agricultural policy makers to counterparts abroad who are working to promote crop diversity and environmentally sustainable growing practices. 

The Iraqi Seed Project will consist of a short film, interactive website and real life exchange; it is intended as a creative work as well as useful resource to those working in the field.  The project currently is in pre-production, with plans to begin filming early this spring.

The film explores daily life on an Iraqi farm • The website shares  research in the form of video interviews, essays, articles, and discussions related to the history and current realities of farming in Iraq • The exchange – part of The Iraqi Seed Project’s mission is to facilitate a real life exchange between farmers in Iraq and farmers abroad.  Seed swaps, workshops and correspondence are just some of the intended ways to accomplish this.

For more information contact Emma Piper-Burket,,  or visit the group’s profile in Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media Database