“The Governor and people of Uruzgan have shown that when the commitment is there, the scourge of opium poppy can be eliminated.”
For Immediate Release
Saturday, July 2, 2005
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN- USAID Mission Director Patrick Fine said “This is a special program for Uruzgan Province where we are testing fertilizer and seed distribution as a model for a national program to be implemented during the fall planting season.”
A new seed and fertilizer distribution program sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in cooperation with the Afghan government was launched Saturday, July 2 in Southern Afghanistan’s Tirin Kot District, Uruzgan Province.
U.S. Embassy Kabul’s Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and USAID Country Director Patrick Fine, Afghanistan Minister of Agriculture Obidullah Ramin, and other high-ranking officials representing the Afghan Government and the U.S. Embassy joined more than 3000 farmers and hundreds of school students to inaugurate the new program.
Uruzgan Governor Jan Mohammed Khan, marked the occasion by recognizing efforts made by the people of Uruzgan to reduce poppy cultivation over the last year. Governor Jan Mohamed, his provincial staff, and the people of Uruzgan reported a 50% drop in poppy cultivation thus far this year in both Tirin Kot and Chora districts. Moreover, he pointed out, this reduction was achieved without outside assistance.
In recognizing this achievement, the Government of Afghanistan, with support from USAID, is distributing 46.5 metric tons of corn seed (enough to plant 4,650 jiribs) and 232 tons of fertilizer to at least 3500 farmers. The distribution program will assist local farmers in expanding this year’s corn crop.
“Myself -- and the people of Uruzgan -- have made a commitment to stop poppy cultivation in this province for the next planting season,” said Governor Jan Mohammad.
USAID Mission Director Patrick Fine congratulated the people of Uruzgan for providing an example to the nation. “The Governor and people of Uruzgan have shown that when the commitment is there, the scourge of opium poppy can be eliminated.”
“USAID is proud to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Afghanistan to ensure that farmers have alternatives to growing poppy,” Fine said. “We are working with the Afghan government to provide a national agricultural program for the fall planting season that will draw lessons from what happens here in Uruzgan.”
Last updated: March 10, 2014