March 19, 2008 —
Members of the Arab Jabour farmers union unload bags of fertilizer from a truck to deliver to residents of Arab Jabour.
FOB KALSU, Iraq (March 18, 2008) — Farms in Arab Jabour will soon receive an economic boost from fertilizer distributed by the Arab Jabour farmers union.
With money provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development and Coalition Forces, the farmers purchased 40 tons of fertilizer and delivered the goods to needy farmers.
The union recognized that many farmers in the area were unable to get basic supplies needed to plant and grow crops.
In the past, lack of irrigation water and difficulty getting seeds and fertilizer made it tough to grow crops worthy of selling at market.
"Our mission is to help these people recover from what al-Qaida has done to them. This is their livelihood we have begun helping them rebuild," said 1st Lt. Timothy J. Williams, from Palm Bay, Fla., executive officer for Company C, 1-30th Infantry Regiment.
Though coalition forces will continue to make contributions to jump-start the region’s agricultural economy, they are only filling a void while the government of Iraq mobilizes its ministries and pushes assistance to areas hardest hit by al-Qaida in Iraq.
During a recent visit, Sobhy Mashhadani, Baghdad province rural services committee chairman, told Arab Jabour leaders that the GoI would visit rural areas in the coming weeks to conduct assessments and jump-start projects.
In the meantime, Arab Jabour leaders will make the effort necessary to raise high-quality crops to sell at market.
"This is hard work, but it is for the future of my family, for the community," said Hussein Abaidi Mohammed, farmers union representative for the village of al Amenia.