Civil Affairs Team Assists Iraqi Farmers

Preparing For Winter Crops To Get Protection The Iraqi Al Rasheed Farmers and Land Owners Association took a large step to becoming a self-governing and fully self-supporting group recently.

The Farmers held a meeting to discuss their crops, and to distribute supplies to build greenhouses for the winter. Civil Affairs Teams from the U.S. Army circulated among the Farmers, giving support and answering questions about farming, and about what issues that needed to be addressed by coalition troops in the area.

The Farmers were also setting up the basic foundation for a Farmer cooperative, or union.

I support the idea of a union for our farmers one hundred percent, said Iraqi Farmer Mithaq Abed. Abed is from the local area and owns about twenty-one acres of land. Abed is from a family of farmers, his two other brothers are also members of the fledgling Farmers Union.

Supplies provided by U.S. Civil Affairs troops will allow more of the plants owned by the Abed family to survive the winter. More of our eggplant and Tomato plants will make it to harvest now, said Abed.

Getting supplies previously was impossible, or led the Abed family to have to deal with the black market. Now, as members of the new farmers union, the need supplies are easy to get, and sometimes even free. This only encourages more citizens to be involved in farming.

One product that the farmers intend to address is the desperate need for water pumps. I am excited to see us start to solve and address our own problems, ourselves, said Abed.Maybe someday we will be large enough to get tractors for all of our member farmers, said Abed.

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