News: 'Dragon' brigade Soldiers, PRT members help boost Iraqi economy through agriculture
Story by Spc. Shantelle Campbell
SAMARRA, Iraq – Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, out of Fort Riley, Kan., and Provincial Reconstruction Team members conducted a final inspection of the Samarra Silo, Samarra, Iraq, April 20.
The silo, or grain storage facility, in Samarra is one of eight agricultural projects that have been completed in Salah ad-Din province since the 'Dragon' brigade deployed to the province last fall.
According to Capt. Pailey Eapen, the brigade projects manager, the renovation of the Samarra Silo, which used to be a coalition forces forward operating base in 2003, is a project that will help to better the economy in Samarra by boosting the production of grain and jobs in the area.
"We made sure that the [forward operating base] was in good condition before we transferred it over [in October of 2009] by ensuring there were no environmental issues," said Eapen. "Beyond that, we [didn't] have the expertise to handle the refurbishing of the silo; so, we ended up having to contract it out [which] helps the local economy because we're adding to the jobs within the economy."
"To build in the agricultural economic infrastructure will assist many farmers, so that when they harvest their crops; they'll have a place to store them, and they won't have to sell them all at the same time," he added.
There are currently nine other projects in progress throughout the Salah ad-Din province that are all aimed to strengthen the agricultural economy and promoting a better quality of life for the local citizens.
"Any projects that are done that relate to helping the economy function and getting it back to where the products can get back from the farm to [the consumer] is really important," said Tom Pick, the agricultural advisor for the Salah ad-Din PRT.
"Agriculture is the backbone to [the Iraqi economy] and the more we can do to support that and have it functioning well … [then the more] potential [it has] to multiply throughout the economy," Pick concluded.
This work, 'Dragon' brigade Soldiers, PRT members help boost Iraqi economy through agriculture, by SGT Shantelle Campbell, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.