do I want to go there?
It is my calling. It may be yours too.
By Roz Omid
December 8, 2003
A community development and sustainable agriculture
project in Afghanistan will be a positive step in stabalizing the
country after years of war. If I can be humble enough to recieve
the Divine grace I want to plant the seed for this project. I don't
have the seed but I have some education and experience which can
be of assistance in finding this seed, put it inside the earth
and help it grow.
If you have any interest in supporting me in
any form of administrative assistance, IT, public relation, fundraising,
or legal assistance, please contact me. Also if you know of any
group or individual who is already doing this kind of work plesae
let me know.
My plan is to move to Kabul by mid February 2004
and conduct a preliminary study in feasibility of this project.
goal is to find farmland near Kabul and lease it, start an educational
center as well as practical application of sustainable agriculture.
I understand Dari, which is one of the main languages spoken in
Afghanistan. I have a Masters degree in Community Development and
Sustainable Agriculture from Goddard College in Vermont and I have
experience working with Community Farms and Market Gardens here
in the United States.
Some facts about the conditions related to agriculture
and food in Afghanistan:
...despite the fact that only 12% of its total land area (in Afghanistan)
is arable and less than 6% currently is cultivated."
United States provided 80 percent of all food aid to U.N. World
Food Program (WFP) for Afghanistan last fiscal year, and already
more than 50 percent this year. Our goal is to deliver 300,000
metric tons (MT) of food aid to the people of Afghanistan through
the spring. (52,000 MT of food a month will feed approximately
six million people.)" [See: Here]
According to the U.S. State Department's web site
there is assistance in the form of seeds and other agricultural
support from US government.
I have no idea if they have the ideals of community development
and sustainable agriculture in mind. As far as they are concerned
if the idea of multinational agro-bussiness corporations, where
a few will benifit and have most of the profit, takes off they
might give it a little push as well. Their focus will most likely
be the highest production possible from the land by any means
possible regardless of the soul of the soil or the spirit of the
To me the facts point to the need for sustainable
agriculture. It is a way of cultivating a relationship to the land
relationship to each other and community that can sustain the
as well as the basic peaceful needs of a community including
the wild life. In simple terms it means growing good food localy
this generation and leaving the land so generations to come
can also live off of it. It means not losing the top soil and posioning
our ground water with chemical pestocides and fertalizers.
means creating a self sustaining and strong local economy.
The goal is to expand the use of affordable, appropriate
and librating technologies in conjunction with helpful indigenous
farming techniques. The Afghanis who will work and farm the
land with me will get direct benefit by wages, harvesting
for themselves and sellin them in local markets.
Afghanistan is made up of many different tribes
and ethnic groups. Tribes that have sustained centuries of change
We need to create NGOs (non govermental organizations)
that will work towards helping the developing countries and enhance
positive aspects of traditional community structure.
After years of war and hardship Afghanistan is not
a favorite destination for most people. The U.S. Peace Coprs does
not send volunteers
and the State Department has advised American not to travel there.
Why do I want to go there? This is my calling.
More details on the plan of action will be provided
as it develops. In general I will need to take seeds and some basic
tools (or have
them shipped to me). For this I need expertise of people who
know how to assist in organizing projects, in fundraising (here
US and internationally), and people who can sit on the board
of advisors or trustees, of this organization.
If you are willing
to volunteer your time, please contact me.
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