St. Louis Public Radio News
8:03 pm
Fri August 14, 2009

Afghan agricultural official visits Mo. State Fair

Sedalia, MO – The agriculture director for Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province paid a visit today to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

Safi Muhammad Hussein toured the fair exhibits with Missouri U.S. Senator Kit Bond and State Agriculture Director Jon Hagler.

Part of the reason behind Safi's visit was to thank the Missouri National Guard for its assistance in helping improve agricultural conditions in the Nangarhar Province.

"Legal farming in Afghanistan, which is right now in Nangarhar Province...growing the poppy is zero...we don't have any right now," Safi said through an interpreter.

At one time, Nangarhar Province was the second-highest poppy-producing region in Afghanistan.

In its place, the Missouri National Guard's Agricultural Development Teams (ADT's) have set up canning plants for fruits and vegetables, and have also provided wheat seed for Afghan farmers.