Friday, January 16, 2009


So many stories, so little space. Every week, it is very difficult to choose just four stories which accurately reflect all that the coalition troops are doing. Every day, away from the media spotlight, our guys and girls are getting 'er done!":

Rifles help bring seed to Helmand farmers

A Military Operations news article

7 Jan 09

Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 RIFLES) have been helping the Afghan Security Forces ensure that 3,200 tonnes of wheat seed have reached thousands of farmers across Helmand province.

Wheat seed distribution site

The wheat seed distribution site in Sangin District Centre which was secured by the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police
[Picture: MOD]

The distribution of wheat seed to farmers in the province is part of the Food Zone Programme designed by Helmand's Governor, Gulab Mangal, to help 32,000 farmers grow wheat this year instead of poppy.

The soldiers from 1 RIFLES, along with their colleagues in the Afghan Security Forces, have played an important part in delivering the Food Zone Programme by clearing roads of explosives and protecting the convoys bringing the wheat seed to distribution centres across the province.

By mid-December thirty thousand farmers had already collected seed from the Provincial Government and a further two thousand were expected to receive their seed in time for planting.

In his Eid speech on 8 December 2008 in Lashkar Gah, Governor Mangal announced that the start of the programme had been a great success saying:

"I am very pleased to see so many farmers and elders supporting this programme. It shows that when the Government and the people work together we can make Helmand a better, more prosperous province. This year's programme will be the example to other provinces and a model that we will follow in future years."

The £6m Food Zone Programme has been financed and supported by USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team and the UK Government's Department for International Development.... (and there's more here)

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