FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRT Ninewa Press Office
July 25, 2011 Melvyn.Newcombe@iraq.centcom.mil
Mosul â€“ Iraq â€“ On July 25, 2011, Mr. George N. Sibley, Team Leader of The Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), visited the al-Nahrayn Agricultural Association in the al-Qosh sub-district to inaugurate the distribution of seed cleaning machines to a number of farmers and agricultural associations as part of a United States Government-funded program to improve agriculture in Iraq.
Mr. Bashar Yousif, the head of the association highlighted the impact that the donation would have in the province. â€œThese machines will benefit 90 farmers through 10 agricultural associations in different parts of Ninewa, and provide employment opportunities for many more. I ask the United States Representative to convey the thanks of the Iraqi people to the Government and people of the United Statesâ€ Mr. Yousif said, while also expressing hope for further U.S. assistance and partnership in region. â€œWe ask for continued American investment and support for our agricultural associations in order to benefit from the U.S farming experience.â€
Mr. Sibley noted the $216,000 project would benefit minority displaced families from the various ethnicities and religions that make up farming associations and cooperatives in Baâ€™sheeqa, Hamdanyia and Tallkayf. â€œThese seed cleaners will improve the quality of seeds sold which translates into more money for farmersâ€ said Mr. Sibley, adding that the project also includes initiatives to ensure the cleaners would operate well into the future. â€œThe PRT will fund a safety and maintenance program to farmers for the safe upkeep of the machines.â€
Mr. Sibley explained that the project was part of an enduring partnership between the United States and Iraq under the Strategic Framework Agreement. â€œThis agreement,â€ said Sibley, â€œis based on a mutual desire for friendship and cooperation between Iraq and the United States, and includes a commitment to improving agricultural capacity in Iraq.â€
Mr. Basim Bello, the Mayor of Tallkayf, explained how the work of the PRT had led to the growth of agricultural cooperatives in the province. â€œInitially, a meeting between local farmers and the PRT led to the creation of agricultural societies, one of which is the Al-Nahrayn Association,â€ he said. â€œThis encouraged others to form associations and NGOs run by people of both genders. We as a local government are willing to support all these societies and NGOs and I thank the American people for this gift through the PRT Leader.â€
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