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Increases in security lead to development programs in Baraki Barak District

in Afghan Business

Increases in security lead to development programs in Baraki Barak District

logarLOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Baraki Barak District Governor, Eng. Mohammad Rahim Amin, and the Director of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (DAIL), Mohammad Shah, provided an agriculture vocational seminar for the local farmers of Baraki Barak district, Logar province, March 7.

Fifty farmers and orchard owners traveled to the Baraki Barak District Center to receive information and learn skills that could impact the economy of their household and district.

 “I really appreciate how much the Director of Agriculture is trying to helping us, teaching us how to get the most out of our trees and how to maintain our crops,” said Nasrudin Khan, a local farmer.  “I’m glad to be able to come here and learn because I am receiving information that is going help me.”

 The Baraki Barak District Governor met with his district ministers in January 2013 to begin planning development initiatives after several months of security improvements.  In the meeting, Gov. Amin discussed the region’s abundant orchard resource and the approaching pruning season.  He decided that it was in the district’s best interest to revive its international reputation of producing the best apples in the region.

“My district is capable of doing many great things. The security forces are working together to keep this area safe and they are saving lives,” said Governor Amin.  “Right now our security makes it possible for us to consider development programs that will have a positive effect on the economy for the people of Baraki Barak.  It is time for the people to realize this and to realize that we have many resources.”

Baraki Barak District is historically known for its production and exportation of apples.  Before the Soviet invasion, Logar apples were renowned for their size and quality.  Almost 20 years ago, some of the DAIL staff members helped plant the orchards that currently surround the District Center.  Farmers exported the apples from that orchard to Kabul Province, the Emirate of Dubai, and the Republic of India.

 The DAIL director started instruction in the classroom and highlighted the benefits of pruning trees on time.  He explained how the fruit quality and quantity produced by the trees would greatly increase because of effective pruning and the use of pesticides.   An increase in fruit production for the owner of an orchard means an increase in income, but also implies an increase in employment opportunities for villagers.

 “I have received a lot of benefit from being here.  I will be able to go work in other people’s orchards and I will know how to maintain their trees,” said Nasrudin Khan. “Now I will be able to teach other people which branches to cut off of the trees and how to do it so that the tree will produce better fruit.”

The training transitioned from the classroom to the orchard where Shah showed the farmers how to prune branches before allowing them to practice.  The farmers also learned the preparation and safe application of sulfur-based pesticides to the trees.  The attendees left the District Center with a practical knowledge of how to work more effectively with the skills and resources they already possessed.

“This vocational seminar really is one in a series of many more seminars to come.  Baraki Barak has many resources.   In this area we produce apples, grapes, apricots, and peaches.  These farmers have a lot of things they can learn about and different ways they can become more successful,” said Shah. “The idea is that, one day, places in Afghanistan like Kabul and other countries will be requesting and waiting for the farmers of Baraki Barak to produce exactly what they want to buy every year.”

An Afghan National Army Special Forces sergeant participated in the training to show attendees that development is possible when every part of the government works together.  He spoke to the farmers about the value of their training and how development programs are directly linked to increases in security.

He thanked the farmers on behalf of the District Governor for their continued support for the Afghan Local Police program, explaining the vital role they play in the district’s ability to serve the people more effectively.

“I have been the head of the crime department here in Baraki Barak for two years,” said Baraki Barak Afghan National Police Executive Officer Mohammad Sharif.  “Before, this district was very insecure when compared to the other districts.  Since the implementation of the Afghan Local Police Program, we are seeing many great changes in the district.  All of these changes stem from how effectively the Afghan Local Police have been able to protect the villages.”

The District Governor and DAIL members distributed rakes, shovels, and pesticide to the farmers after the training.

Governmental successes of increasing village security and development ensure stability within the district, province, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

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