Agribusiness Development Team

Wednesday May 21, 2008

What is it?

An agribusiness development team (ADT) composed of Army National Guard (ARNG) Soldiers with backgrounds and expertise in various sectors of the agribusiness field has been formed to provide training and advice to Afghan universities, provincial ministries and local farmers.

What has the ARNG done?

The National Guard Bureau has completed significant planning and laid the groundwork for ADT success in Afghanistan. To provide the coalition joint task force (CJTF) commander with a resource to favorably impact the agribusiness sector in Nangarhar Province, the ARNG deployed an ADT in February 2008 to augment the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) located in Jalalabad. So far this ADT has been very well received and has been very busy passing along agricultural knowledge, some security forces (SECFOR), and hard work as well.

What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?

A second ADT is scheduled to deploy in June 2008 to augment the PRT, located in Ghazni. Moreover, the ARNG is planning to deploy four additional ADTs over the next 12 months. CJTF -101 is focusing its efforts on areas where progress in security and stability have been attained to include, Jalalabad and Ghazni provinces. At least four additional provinces will be targeted for additional ADTs deployments.

CJTF - 101 sector priorities include security, governance, rule of law, and business development lines of operation. The ADT plans to develop the full spectrum of agribusiness. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are both enthusiastic about supporting the ADT but obtaining adequate funding and personnel is a significant challenge.

The ARNG is considering recruiting retired Guard members and reservists as retiree recalls for possible return to active duty for future deployments on ADT teams.

Why is this important to the Army?

The revitalization of the agribusiness sector in Nangarhar and Ghazni provinces requires a complex and integrated set of solutions. ADTs ensure that improvements are sustainable with local assets and within the context of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock abilities. To be immediately effective, ADT personnel must be in place to impact the next growing season. If the ADT and supporting USDA administrators are not in place, opium production will increase in the upcoming growing season. The ADT concept has two major benefits: provide immediate agricultural expertise and provide SECFOR to enable daily community engagement.

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