Monday, July 21, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 21 July 2008

From MNF-I, Two Tons of Seed Delivered to Farmers.

CAMP TAJI — The Fertile Crescent portion of Iraq is notorious for its strong agricultural heritage throughout history. It has long blessed residents and their livestock with a plethora food.

Unfortunately, in recent history investments and resources were diverted away from farming and food production, leaving Iraq's agricultural resources in utter despair.

Efforts to replant fertile areas in the Taji Qada, northwest of Baghdad are now underway. The Abernisha Village recently received two tons of hybrid maize seed to help start a new history of food production in the area.

Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Warrior,” Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, accompanied Daniel Skotnick agriculture advisor, and Abdullah Al Asoum, economic bi- lingual, bi-cultural advisor with embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team Baghdad-5, visited a farm in Abernisha Village to monitor the progress of the delivered seed, July 13.

The seed, donated by Inma, a company sponsored by United States Agency International Development, is going to be used for growth of high quality feed for livestock. The organization is working to revitalize agriculture production along with rebuilding the infrastructure of Iraq.

“The maize program is the first step in establishing hybrid maize production in Iraq,” said Asoum. “Hybrid strains are cultivated for specific characteristics, such as drought resistance. When cross-pollinated the resulting hybrid exhibits the desired characteristics.”

This program will offer job opportunities to hundreds of farmers in Baghdad’s neighboring provinces, he added.