The Iranian qanats (Kashan, Isfahan Province) have been recognised by FAO amongst traditional farming systems of global importance.
The Qanat Irrigation technology and related knowledge system in Iran date back to at least 800 BC and the Kashan region has one of the oldest Persian agriculture systems irrigated by Qanats. The Qanat system has sustained food security and livelihoods by providing a reliable source of water to traditional family farmers in mostly dry areas, where farming would be impossible otherwise.
The concept of "Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems" (GIAHS) has been introduced in 2002 by FAO.
Read full article: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/230966/icode/