The extension team is training farmers in Mushroom production as an alternative for income in Shanaf village, Al-Hamdanyia  February 13, 2023.

Extension team, training, and trust building with Community and Agronomists. Al-Hamdanyia MAY 6, 2023.

Discussion of the extension team observations and training for the staff of Bashiqa Agriculture Center June 1, 2023.

Recoding storytelling in Lalish about Olive in Yazidi culture April 29, 2023

Explaining the importance of good conditions for animal medicines and pesticide storage Khanabad Sultan March 18, 2023.

Training farmers on chicken vaccination in Alfadhliya, Bashiqa  1st Dec. 2022


 Agriculture on both sides of plants and animals has played a vital role in the livelihoods, culture, and history of the Nineveh Plains, a historically rich region nested within the heart of Mesopotamia in northern Iraq. This fertile plain has been the cradle of ancient civilizations and has sustained its inhabitants for a long period. The significance of agriculture in the Nineveh Plains transcends mere sustenance; it forms the foundation of the region's identity and economic prosperity. However, while agriculture remains a vital sector, it faces many of challenges that require immediate attention and extension efforts to ensure its sustainability and continued contribution to the well-being of the local population.

The extension group is part of a large project “Support to Traditional Cultural Practices in Northern Iraq” that is undertaken by the University of Duhok and supported by LASER PULSE and the USA Agency for International Development (USAID). The project is studying the challenges of the agricultural and food sector as it seeks solutions for tomorrow. This project covers field crops, vegetables, animal production, and extension systems important to the ethnic and religious minorities in the Nineveh Plains (Christian, Yazidi, Shabak, Turkmen, and Kakai). The main mission of the extension team is to determine the valuable agricultural resources for the farmers of minorities living in Ninawa Plain (Al-Hamdaniya and Telkaif and Bashiqa), identify the main challenges facing developing these resources, awareness among farmers, and propose suitable suggestions in which to help them to improve their products and skills.

The main objectives of the Agricultural Extension Team

The main objectives collectively aimed to improve the agricultural practices, livelihoods, and overall well-being of the target farming communities while promoting sustainable and responsible agriculture in Nineveh Plains through:

The main Activities and Products of the Agricultural Extension team – since September 2022

 The team proposed a comfortable plan for achieving the above objectives through the following activities:

 The group collected all agriculture extension activities implemented in these areas during the last years (Published in Mesopotamia Journal of Agriculture).

Conducted several visits to the targeted villages in these districts for trust building and to have an initial idea for preparing a questionnaire to collect information about all agricultural practices and constraints facing farmers to improve their skills and increase their products both in quality and quantity.

Questionnaires and training were conducted to assess their needs and to develop the cultural agricultural restoration.

Via Education Posters, guides, and leaflets: From the information collected from communities, awareness posters, guides, and leaflets regarding plant and animal breeding have been prepared and published.

These policy briefs provide the policymakers with recommendations to take action regarding agricultural development in Nineveh Plains.

Educational and storytelling videos for our main products and activities are prepared to help build bridges of experience between communities.

The team participated in the following activities:

Future Directions


The Extension team boasts a solid interdisciplinary base grounded in both crop and animal production, along with substantial expertise in agricultural extension methods. This array of varied viewpoints, hands-on experiences, and competencies fosters a distinctive collaborative atmosphere that encourages broad-mindedness, inquisitiveness, and innovative thinking.

Dr. Shawkat A. M’Sadeq is an academic member of the University of Duhok. He is an  Assistant professor of poultry production and technology and leading the Extension Group. You can contact him via: 

Dr. Fathi A. Omer is an academic member of the University of Duhok. He is an Assistant professor of field crops and a member of the Extension Group. You can contact him via

Mr. Hojeen M. Abdullah is an academic member of the University of Duhok. He is a Lecturer of vegetable production and a member of the Extension Group. You can  contact him via

Dr. Mark A. Russell is an academic member of Purdue University. He is a professor of agricultural sciences education and communication and a member of the Extension Group. You can contact him via

Dr. Peter M. Hirst is an academic member of Purdue University. He is a professor of horticulture and a member of the Extension Group. You can contact him via

Ms. Amanda J. Dickson is an academic member of Purdue University. She is a PhD student of International Extension Specialist and a member of the Extension Group. You can contact him via

hydroponic barley germination.mp4


Agricultural extension videos serve as vital educational tools, providing farmers with precise guidance on animal care, crop production, and vegetable cultivation techniques. These videos offer visual demonstrations, expert insights, and accessible content that empower farmers to adopt scientifically sound practices. By showcasing correct methods, addressing challenges, and emphasizing sustainability, these videos aim to enhance farm productivity, profitability, and environmental responsibility. Ultimately, they equip farmers with the knowledge and skills required to make informed decisions and succeed in their agricultural endeavors, contributing to the advancement of the agricultural sector.




Key Takeaways: 

The majority of people in the Nineveh Plains rely on agricultural production as a means of livelihood. Research shows: • A lack of cost-effective, quality feed limits productivity. • Inefficient health management practices impact food quality. • Poor market and marketing systems impact farmers’ ability to sell products. • Inadequate training and extension services restrict quality livelihoods. • Climate change threatens all, especially through increased water shortages 



The posters promote the use of modern agricultural technology to overcome challenges in animal production, field crop cultivation, and vegetable farming. They showcase solutions like precision farming, data-driven decision-making, sustainable practices, and innovative tools, which improve resource efficiency, increase yields, and enhance environmental sustainability. These posters serve as practical guides to demonstrate how technology can address common issues and enhance efficiency, profitability, and resilience in farming. Farmers are encouraged to adopt these technologies for more sustainable and successful farming practices.



Agricultural extension guides are valuable resources that provide farmers, agricultural workers, and communities with essential information and best practices related to farming, livestock management, crop cultivation, and other agricultural activities. These guides serve as educational tools to improve agricultural productivity, sustainability, and overall rural livelihoods.



Visiting the Agriculture Directorate in Nineveh Plains was a crucial step in addressing the challenges faced by farmers and fostering agricultural improvement. These visits provide a platform to showcase the farmers' challenges, facilitating open and productive discussions. By engaging with agricultural authorities and sharing first-hand insights, the agricultural sector's shortcomings can be identified and prioritized. This collaborative approach aims to drive policy changes, resource allocation, and capacity-building initiatives that directly address the specific needs of farmers. In doing so, it can pave the way for meaningful improvements in the agricultural sector, benefiting both farmers and the broader community in Nineveh Plains.



The team visited 23 villages in the Nineveh Plains region to tackle the difficulties encountered by farmers and promote advancements in agriculture. Training sessions were customized for each farmer based on his individual needs and agricultural extension requirements identified during interviews. In total, 366 farmers benefited from the tailored training programs.

zoonotics disease English Leaflet.pdf


These leaflets offer concise guidance to farmers on adopting optimal practices in animal production, field crop cultivation, and vegetable farming. They provide essential insights on livestock management and care, crop selection, irrigation, and pest management. With clear language and visual aids, these leaflets empower farmers to enhance their agricultural techniques while emphasizing sustainability and productivity. By promoting best practices, these guides contribute to improved crop yields, healthier livestock, and more efficient farming, ultimately benefiting farmers and promoting environmentally responsible agricultural methods.



The Agricultural Extension Group has recently published a literature review article offering a thorough examination of agricultural extension activities and programs in the Nineveh Plains. The primary objective of this article is to explore the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, encompassing field crops, animal production, and extension efforts, following the liberation from ISIS.