Agriculture exhibit unites community, 2nd BCT Soldiers

| October 14, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Ry Norris
135th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment 

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq — An Agricultural Exhibition and Trade Show took place at Tikrit University, Iraq, Sept. 27 and 28. 

The Salah ad Din Agricultural Task Force at Tikrit University and the Salah ad Din Provincial Reconstruction Team sponsored the exhibit. 

On both days, the PRT made the trip with Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, to observe the event.

“This was the first time the exhibit has taken place in Salah ad Din,” said Tom Pick, a SaD PRT agricultural advisor. “Normally, the exhibit is in Baghdad, not in the smaller provinces. However, during the Saddam (Hussein) regime, the farmers were guaranteed profit since the government provided subsidized seeds in return for subsidized crops. Now, the farmers have to market their products. This (exhibit) is giving them that opportunity.”

Spectators walked through a crowded room as business owners and vendors displayed their merchandise. Products included fruit and vegetable packaging, supplies for hoop houses and plastic-covered greenhouses. 

“You could barely walk through the place yesterday without bumping into someone,” said Saud Latif Ahmmed, a farmer. “There is a great variety of things for us to use.”

Most of the products were from Inma, or “growth,” in Arabic. Inma is an agricultural program set up by the U.S. Agency for International Development, to work with the SaD PRT to assist the agricultural industry and market in Iraq. 

Inma offered fruit and vegetable packaging free of charge at the event, to help farmers keep their produce fresh longer. With temperatures as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit, fresh produce deteriorates at a rapid pace. 

Other attendees, like Ayoub Mahmoud Ahmed, sought to increase sales at the event. Ahmed is an authorized vendor for a company that specializes in producing pumps and motors for deep-water wells. 

“I like the idea behind this event,” Ahmed said. “It gives me a chance to display my products to many who might not have known about them. I hope to see an increase in sales from this (exhibit).”

Category: Deployed Forces, News

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