A couple of days ago, Isaac and I had the opportunity to visit an important district in central Kandahar Province. While meeting with a variety of governance and development experts, we learned about a Model Farm initiative in this district. A "Model Farm" initiative is a project in which a variety of experts from the U.S. government, Afghan government and Non-governmental organizations come together to design an ideal Afghan farm that is suited to the district's local agricultural conditions. The District Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (DAIL) leads the Model Farm. Once the Model Farm is functioning, it is used to not only produce food for the community but it is also used as a central location for farmers to receive training on the best farming practices. Because the Model Farm provides training to a variety of farmers and because a representative of the government of Afghanistan (GOA) leads it, it is very important that the Model Farm remains functional at all times.
A Soldier from an Agriculture Development Team installs a circuit breaker for a well pump
When the Model Farm's irrigation system recently broke, Spirit of America stepped in to rapidly return the irrigation system to working order during the short window available before the winter planting season begins. This ensured that the Model Farm initiative could continue to serve as a valuable resource for the community. This in turn helps the coalition force's efforts to strengthen the GOA and create a sustainable economic future for local Afghans.
Water begins filling the reservoir as the pump is turned on
I would like to share a thank you message to Spirit of America that I received from one of the key individuals involved in the Model Farm initiative:
The [Model Farm] increases the Afghan government's ability to improve the quality of life for ordinary Afghans in a critical area for countering the threat of terrorists, and the actions of Spirit of America helped to establish the government and ISAF in the eyes of the Afghan people making it safer for American troops. The restoration of this vital component of the irrigation system will enable the DAIL Agriculture Extension Agent to plant winter crops...and demonstrate improved irrigation techniques to the farmers...Without the vital support of Spirit of America (SoA) funding of a new pump, the winter project crops would not have been able to be planted this season. The Agricultural Development Team, USAID and USDA would like to thank SoA for their quick response, not only with funding but with technical expertise and research.
Afghanistan Field Rep