Welcome to the 'salt village'
in Iraq's Kurdistan region
where villagers harvest artisanal salt
using their ancestors' techniques
(SOUNDBITE) (Kurdish) VILLAGER, ALI AHMED, SAYING:
"We have been working on this salt farm for over 200 years. We still do it according to our grandfathers' method. The villagers benefit from this salt, which we get from a saline water spring. It comes from the hills, about 200 meters away from the village. We gather the water in the ponds. During the summer months, water evaporates, and the pure salt remains."
Their way of life has helped to shield them
from the recent economic crisis
Farmers harvest over 440 tons a year
sold for $0.21 to $0.27 per kilo
to local businessmen
(SOUNDBITE) (Kurdish) SHOPKEEPER, MOHAMMED RASHEED, SAYING:
"I am a shopkeeper and when I run out of salt, I always come here to the ponds to buy salt. I usually buy 15 to 20 bags per week. The quality of this salt is excellent, it tastes like natural salt. Our customers always ask us for this kind of salt."