The al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine announced its start to implement a large multi-benefit project for the production of strategic agricultural crops, such as wheat, barley, potatoes and palm trees as a first step, provided that it would later include other crops of importance and benefit to the Iraqi family, thereby contributing to supporting the national product and restoring its agricultural identity, and thus investing large parts of the Karbala Desert to turn them into green oases, as a contribution to combating desertification taking advantage of the abundant groundwater, through a project entitled "Al Awali", implemented by Al Liwa International Company specialized in designing and implementing the infrastructure for major strategic projects (one of the al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine companies). And, it is located deep in the desert on the road linking Karbala to Ain Al-Tamr, using modern and advanced technologies and mechanisms.
The al-Kafeel network met the Commissioned director of the company, Engineer Adel Malik Abdul Rahman, who stated: “The project that will be added to the series of projects that were previously implemented by the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine, aims to:
- Combating desertification by investing in desert farmland.
- Contributing to the development of agricultural realities, in a way that contributes to achieving self-sufficiency and food security for some strategic and vital crops.
- The project contributes to improving the environmental reality in the governorate.
- Contributing to providing some job opportunities for employing manpower.
- It will contribute to supplying the local market with good types of agricultural and field crops without relying on the importer, and also contributes to restoring the agricultural identity of Iraq.
- Activating reliance on clean energy (solar cells).
- Spreading awareness among farmers of rationalizing water consumption by using modern irrigation techniques.
As for the project manager, Engineer Haider Muhammad Shahid Al-Dahan, he stated: "We started the initial stages of the project, as we started digging 11 wells that will feed the project with water through axial sprinklers in addition to drip irrigation. The wells were distributed according to a plan prepared in advance to cover a part of the area of the first phase of the project, of which three wells were executed with their water conveying streams, in addition to leveling and modifying the project land as being uneven land.
Al-Dahan continued: "The project was provided with (112) solar cells per well, for the purpose of providing the water pumps with the energy needed for them."
He explained: "We planted (1,200) palm trees of good Iraqi variety, and began planting a green belt surrounding the project from the trees of Olander and Eucalyptus, while continuing to implement and link the drip irrigation network for the areas planted according to the plans laid out for it."
He continued: "Streets and square premeate this project, which was designed according to the latest designs, and the work is continuing with parallel lines without any intersection and according to each section, in order to complete it at the specified times for it."