News: Panjwa'i district governor meets with farmers
Story by Staff Sgt. Scott Tynes
COP MUSHAN, Afghanistan – Hajji Faizal Mohammad, Panjwa’i district governor, and several officials of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan met with approximately 30 local farmers for an agricultural shura at Combat Outpost Mushan, March 28, 2013.
District Development Assistant Chairman Hajji Maik Mohammad and Mohammed Quodos, of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, also attended the shura to speak to farmers about their concerns and to inform them about what the government is doing for them. A shura is similar to a town hall meeting in the West.
The event was held at the request of Governor Mohammad, said Capt. Forrest Holdsworth of the Kandahar Agribusiness Development Team, based at Forward Operating Base Pasab. The 81st Civil Affairs also assisted with the shura and security was provided by Afghan National Army soldiers at Mushan and COP Mushan’s A Company, 4th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
“We’re starting to establish linkages and that’s because security is getting better,” Holdsworth said. “The idea is to show (local farmers) we work closely with the district governor and they need to work with their government and use their process.”
Gov. Mohammad opened the shura and was followed by other GIRoA officials and the local ANA commander. A veterinarian, irrigation specialist and other professionals were also present. The officials then answered questions from the farmers, which ranged from how to get projects funded to complaints about crop lands being used for roads and other infrastructure improvements.
“It was a long shura and we didn’t really talk much at all,” Holdsworth said. “The fact that they led 90 percent of that discussion shows they are taking the lead.”
Gov. Mohammad said he was pleased with the results of the shura.
“It will benefit the people of the village,” he said. “This is good to build relationships and build security for this village.”
He said it is a continuing process and by talking with the people of the villages they can build the trust between local populations and the government. Mohammad hopes to be able to address other concerns in future shuras.
“It will be good in the future,” he said. “We should have more to benefit the villages on other things.”