War on Terrorism

Monday, June 22, 2009

Agriculture Team's Training Creates Buzz in Afghanistan

By Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens
Special to American Forces Press Service

June 22, 2009 - Representatives from Zinzee and Turkman villages, along with staff members from Al Bironi University, journeyed here June 13 for a day of activity that had them buzzing with questions. Army Staff Sgt. Erik Singsaas, intelligence sergeant of Task Force Warrior's agriculture development team, provided classroom and hands-on training about bee anatomy and beehive care to the many guests on hand.

"The training was offered in support of Task Force Warrior's recent Commander's Emergency Response Program projects that placed over 400 beehives and equipment in Parwan and Kapisa [provinces]," Singsaas said while explaining plans to provide similar future training.

Singsaas covered multiple topics in the classroom, including bee anatomy and behavior; hive design, care and management; processing honey and wax; catching a swarm; bee-sting care; vectors; and benefits of pollination to crops.

Agriculture equipment was on display, and the team provided demonstrations for the Afghans during the classroom training.

"The Afghans had many questions, and were very interested and grateful for the information," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Eldon Kuntzelman, an agronomist with the team. He added that he believes the Afghans gained knowledge and will use the new hives to their potential.

The team's research on beehives here provided an opportunity in the afternoon for Afghans to use equipment and work on hive maintenance.

"This training puts actual working agricultural products in the hands of Afghans, and trains confident and capable individuals to work within the scope of bee projects," Singsaas said.

(Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens serves with the Task Force Warrior public affairs office.)

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