Press Release

Basrah Gas Company and WFP Iraq launch a climate adaptation project to support smallholder farmers in Basrah

18 January 2024

Baghdad, 15 January 2024 - Basrah Gas Company (BGC) and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) have signed an agreement aiming to support local farmers in the Al Zubair district in Basrah through a climate change adaptation initiative which sets out to increase their incomes and boost agricultural production. The project will introduce tested solutions to combat desertification and support water conservation in the farming sector. BGC and the WFP will collaborate closely with the Directorate of Agriculture, the Farmers’ Association, and local farmers in the implementation phase.

The initiative will train farmers on applying smart agriculture techniques, modern farming methods (soilless farming), and water-saving irrigation systems. In addition, the project will also focus on empowering female farmers by building capacity and self-employment in cooperation with the designated local authorities in Basrah’s Al-Zubair district.

“I am very pleased we have signed this long-awaited agreement with WFP. This agreement fits perfectly with BGC’s sustainable social investment strategy. We are jointly paving the way for more than 90 farmers from Al-Zubair district to guide and support them in unlocking the full potential of their livelihoods,” said BGC Managing Director Andrew Wiper.” This initiative is the beginning of an enduring partnership and a pivotal component of our sustainable social investment and social performance strategy that aims to enhance the well-being of local communities in proximity to our operations.”

This collaboration—which has come about during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28)—comes at a critical moment for global transformative climate action. The partnership between WFP and the BGC reaffirms the collective resolve to combat climate change in Iraq.

“Our strategic approach in Al-Zubair aligns with the urgent need to combat the effects of climate change in Southern Iraq. Al-Zubair district is one of the regions in Basrah most affected by climate change. There are frequent sandstorms, heatwaves, water scarcity, pollution, and salinity,” said WFP Country Director and Representative for Iraq Ally-Raza Qureshi. “This project underscores our joint commitment to promoting sustainable livelihoods, community cohesion, and effective adaptation strategies for the evolving agricultural landscape in Basrah."


For more information please contact (email address:

Ruben Rodriguez, WFP/ Iraq, 

Mob. +964 7809299918

Bashar Kassab Hassan, BGC Corporate Affairs Manager


Tel. +964 7809259933

About BGC

Basrah Gas Company is an Iraqi joint venture established in 2013 between the Government of Iraq, represented by South Gas Company, holding 51%, Shell with 44%, and Mitsubishi with 5%. BGC was established to fulfil Iraq's energy strategy by investing in associated gas and reducing flaring from licensing round 1 oilfields (Rumaila, Zubair, and West Qurna 1).

About WFP

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Ruben Pulido Rodriguez

Communications Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

World Food Programme

Goals we are supporting through this initiative