Editor's Note: The following e-mail from Capt. Jesse J. Cornelius is a response to an inquiry about how American farmers and agribusinesses might help U.S. soldiers as they try to improve farming in Iraq, a part of their mission in establishing peace and getting the Iraqi economy back on its feet. Anyone interested in provided needed supplies and information can contact Cornelius by e-mail at [email protected].
Things have been really hectic here and I have been on the road a lot. I have been in contact with the (Iraqi) minister of agriculture office and they are excited about your offer to help.
They are looking for seed corn for variety trials. They don't start planting corn for another month or so here and plant through the middle of August. They have asked our assistance in securing 1 ton of seed for 10 to 20 varieties of hybrid corn. This seed will be used to plant test plots throughout the country. This would be a great opportunity for seed companies there to get a foothold into Iraqi agriculture. If the varieties do well they will be looking to buy seed in the future. Do you have any contacts in the seed industry who might be interested in helping in this area? I know that is a lot of seed but most planting is complete in the states and they may have some seed left over.
We are also looking for companies who would like to provide vegetable seed for the same purpose. If we can prove they produce well here, it will open a very large market for American companies.
We have the clearance to get seed shipped in here so that should not be a problem.
Also any educational materials you might have on raising corn, soybeans, rice, wheat and barley. Vegetables are also big here.
Do you have any contacts in the poultry industry? I recently met with a representative of the Iraqi poultry producers association. He is interested in talking with some American companies. The poultry industry has a lot of potential here in Iraq.
Do you have any contacts in the vegetable processing business? I am looking for portable food processing units that can be moved by tractor trailer.
Also anyone you know who works with cooperatives. We are trying to start up cooperatives and any info you could get us on how to operate them would be great.
All of these areas need our help.
JESSE J. CORNELIUS CPT, IN
HHC 155 BCT
Agriculture Officer, 155 BCT