Until a few years ago, farming in southern Iraq was “as lucrative as oil”, Qasim Abdul Wahad remembers, and his one-hectare farm plot in the governate of Basra produced enough to feed his family of eight. Now dust kicks up under his feet as he walks through his land, after worsening extreme heat and drought linked to climate change killed 90% of his winter crops, including all of his okra and eggplant. “Only a few years ago I would be able to sit here and relax. It was very green and beautiful. When I look at it now, I feel like a member of my family is gone,” the 50-year-old said. Abdul Wahad, who has spent his life farming in the village of Abu Al-Khaseeb – the names means “father of the fertile” – thinks he will soon have to abandon his land, to try to seek more fertile ground elsewhere.