Rural Women Indigenous Knowledge of Traditional Food and Household Food Security in Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq

Chawan Hamasalih, Hemin Neima, Rezhen Harun, Kazhan Hasan


Indigenous knowledge of traditional food can have high potential and a major role in achieving a sustainable food security system. Rural women usually have responsibility in securing household food security by applying their indigenous knowledge of food processing and preservation. This study was conducted in Shahrazor plain, which is a culturally and historically rich area in Kurdistan region of Iraq, to investigate Kurdish rural women’s indigenous knowledge of food processing and preservation and their role in achieving and sustaining household food security. The data in this study showed that 100% of the respondents still apply their indigenous knowledge of traditional food processing and preservation methods depend on the availability of the needed resources and family members or market demand on these foods. Generally, most of the respondents are making some specific foods especially dairy products such as Masti Kurdi (Kurdish Yogurt) 72.89%, Paniri Kurdi (Kurdish Cheese) 37.35% and Dou (a sour yogurt-based beverage) 34.94%; and processing cereal grains such as Sawar 37.95%. Despite the fact that, Kurdish women still practice their indigenous knowledge of food processing and preservation but there are some ancient foods which are less practiced by the Kurdish women household, particularly fermented food and sundry food.  Women in rural areas of Kurdistan region has a wide indigenous knowledge of food processing and preservation which offer a number of traditional Kurdish food products and a big contribution to improving food security in the region, sustainably.


indigenous knowledge, traditional food, rural women, Kurdistan Region, Shahrazor Plain

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