English | 日本語
Roots of Peace to expand in Afghanistan
New York, February 24, 2007 (Pajhwok Afghan News): Roots of Peace, the US-based non-profit organisation, has decided to expand its operations in Afghanistan.
Under the new plan, the organisation would plant a record 1.5 million trees of high cash-yielding fruits in next three years, giving local farmers a commercial alternative to poppy cultivation.
The decision has been taken in the backdrop of successfully removal of more than one lakh landmines from the Shomali plains and training of over 10,000 farmers to grow grapes and raisins instead of poppies.
"We want to reclaim for Afghanistan its status of Garden of Central Asia, for which this war-ravaged country was once known for," said Heidi Kuhn, founder and CEO of the organisation while speaking to Pajhwak Afghan News.
Kuhn, founder of the NGO and a cancer survivor, established Roots of Peace in 1997 to remove landmines in Croatia and Cambodia. It started operations in Afghanistan in 2003.
According to the programme, the NGO will plant 0.6 million and 0.9 million cherry, almond, walnuts, apple and apricot trees in the northern province of Badakhshan and eastern province of Nangarhar (Jalalabad) respectively.
Recognizing the work done by the NGO over the previous four years in de-mining and giving alternative sources of income to Afghans, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington has planned to host a reception to celebrate its 10th anniversary.