Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tractors handed out to Afghan farmers in Nad-e-Ali

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, working with the International Relief and Development Agency and the Afghan Government, have handed out 20 new tractors to farming co-operatives in the Nad-e-Ali region of Helmand Province.

Delighted local farmers were presented with keys to tractors, thresher machines and ploughing equipment by District Governor Habibullah at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Each of the farming co-operatives consisted of at least 35 farmers who had been asked to work up and present a business plan. To qualify for the equipment, the co-operatives had to show that they were willing to stop sowing poppy crops and focus their production on wheat farming.

Captain Nick Carter, Influence Officer with the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment said: “The International Relief and Development Agency has been helping bring together co-operatives of farmers. How much land these farmers actually own will entitle them to certain farming equipment. So what we have today is a give-away of tractors, threshing machines and ploughs.”

The ceremony was attended by around 150 people from across the local area. Under ongoing aid programs, farmers have also received wheat seed, non-ammonium based fertiliser and growing kits containing onions, tomatoes and fruit seeds. The kits enable farmers from across the region to continue to grow produce throughout the year once the wheat season is over. In total, each farmer involved in the program has received approximately $1000 of aid to help re-build the economy in the once prosperous farming region.

Captain Carter comments: “This program is helping to develop the farming community. This particular area of Nad-e-Ali used to be very wealthy and it still can be. By having modern equipment, the farmers are able to go back into the commercial market and sell their produce for a good price, while also helping them move away from the poppy.”


  1. I am pig sick - we have farmers here in the UK who cannot afford tractors - this area was producing 'poppies' - wheres the money gone - oh yer - the Taleban took it - hearts and minds - you mean money and goods - although so Proud of our Troops - wish they were HERE giving out this stuff in UK (or not even giving out stuff)

  2. Nice story, and great work. I did a story on it on my site