By Senior Airman Amber Ashcraft
Combined Joint Task Force 101
PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (4/11/11) - The Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II presented Shah Mir Amiri, director of Panjshir’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, with 3,500 evergreen saplings March 28.
“We’re very excited to receive these beautiful trees,” said Amiri, through an interpreter. “The province is on its way to becoming much greener and more attractive because of the new evergreens.”
The six districts and one municipality of Panjshir Province received 500 saplings each, to be planted around schools, district offices and throughout villages.
“We hope the trees will help promote slope stabilization, erosion control and of course aesthetics in the province,” said Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Casada, the Kentucky ADT lead.
More than 100 villagers and officials attended the Nowruz Tree Planting Ceremony held at the DAIL compound in the Bazarak District.
“Panjshir has a unique opportunity in tourism,” said Casada. “The province is already beautiful with the landscape, but the trees flourishing here will make the attraction that much greater.”
In addition, reforestation is needed due to the decades of trees being uprooted for firewood and building materials, said Casada.
After the ceremony, district representatives arrived with trucks to take away the trees. The ADT provided the trees, with agreement that communities would provide the tools and labor for planting and upkeep.
“We thank the PRT for helping us celebrate our new year and new spring with these beautiful trees,” said Baroukzai. “The people of Panjshir look forward to seeing them grow for many years to come.”