Coalition Aided By Iraqi Security Forces
The soldiers in the embedded Provisional reconstruction teams assisted a number of poultry farmers this last week with the donation of chicks to rebuild their farms. Nearly 3000 chicks were given to each of two Iraqi farmers on April 27th to work on rebuilding their poultry flocks located in Hawr Rajab, which is an outlying community of South Baghdad.
â€œThis is sort of a start up kit for the farmers,â€ said Mike Stevens, one of the ePRT agricultural spokespersons. â€œThey have a high start up cost issue and this is to help them become self sustaining and profitable,â€ said Mr. Stevens.
Poultry farming in Iraq has suffered over the last several years due to the insurgency and the risk of attacks. It was once a thriving business in Iraq but has fallen on hard times over the last several years. When insurgents came to the area they stole the stock from the farmers, taking their chickens and then setting the chicken coops on fire to try to imtimidate and threaten the farmers.
â€œWe have suffered a lot of losses but its getting better, â€œ said Sheikh Majid Wiese. Sheikh Wiese is the chairman of the local farmers cooperative. Distributing of chicks to area farmers is just one of the ways that the ePRT teams is helping Iraqi farmers get back onto track. They are working to get funding to rebuild and refurbish the poultry processing plant formerly located in Hawr Rajab.