Story So Far
Foundation pomegranate to powder training programme
Roddy Gow becomes Chairman Plant for Peace Foundation
Using the newly developed Plant for Peace Afghan pomegranate powder Plant for Peace Ltd commences development of the first value added product range. A Four flavour range of organic yoghurt coated fruit bars.Jan 2013
Plant for Peace Foundation - Fruitbars
With the strategy established and the road ahead clear, Funktional Group Limited decided on obtaining the necessary investment to establish the company and develop a 'proof of concept' range of products from Afghanistan. The above picture illustrates the outcome of this exercise. Two flavours of fruitbar had their first production run in November 2012.Jul 2012
Public Relations Company supports Plant for Peace
UK leading PR firm Freud Communications offers its services pro bono to Plant for Peace .Jul 2012
Plant for Peace Steering Group
The Plant for Peace Steering Group was formed in order to get the implementation of the Plant for Peace agriculture and horticulture development strategy for Afghanistan (2012 - 2027) firmly under way.Jun 2012
Plant for Peace Foundation
Plant for Peace Foundation UK was recognised by the Charity Commission as a charity (nr. 1148602).May 2012
HRH Princess Basma bint Ali supports Plant for Peace
Rowan Atkinson supports Plant for Peace
Turning pomegranate into a powder form.
Plant for Peace Ltd starts the development of the first Afghanistan value added ingredient. Turning pomegranate into a powder form..Feb 2012
The strategy paper
A generous grant from a Plant for Peace benefactor enabled the assembly of the Implementation Team to write a comprehensive strategy paper for the Afghan initiative. The paper is still a work in progress, but the general outline developed in the first four months provides a solid base for the implementation of the strategy in Afghanistan.Oct 2011
Planting 1.9M cuttings
With farming communities outside of pomegranate growing regions in Afghanistan becoming involved in POM354 a more meaningful name was sought that encompassed all types of farmers produce and POM354 changed its name to Plant for Peace.Apr 2010
105,000 pomegranate trees
In the 2010 planting season, we selected 800 farmers to train them and provide them with the materials to establish new pomegranate orchards. We planted some 105,000 new trees and followed the farmers for one year to ensure the proper maintenance of the new orchards.
In preparation for the future, we also planted some 1.9 million pomegranate cuttings in one large scale nursery and 20 community operated nurseries. Unfortunately, the acquisition of the cuttings was not under our control (donor regulations) and the results of this exercise were very disappointing.
Altogether, however, the exercise taught us numerous invaluable lessons about the practicalities of operating in Afghanistan.Jan 2010
The Kandahar Jirga was attended by 5,600 Elders and leaders. The reason for this low number of attendees was the severe flooding the Southern province experienced just before the meeting. The decision was made to hold the meeting indoors, in the palace of the governor, which meant only the most relevant leaders could be invited to attend. Ironically, this also meant that the quality of the lunch was expected to reflect the status of those present, and ended up costing the same amount as the Farah Jirga (14,211 Elders).Jan 2010
David Richards supports Plant for Peace
The Mazar Jirga in the Northern province of Balkh was attended by 7,000 Elders. The main reason for this was the remoteness of the Jirga venue. The old fortress was located 35 miles from the nearest large town and buses needed to be chartered to get most of the participants to the meeting. However, the stature of the participating Elders and leaders will ensure the validity of the commitment to work on the realisation of the strategy.Nov 2009
The Jirga in the Western province of Herat was attended by 12,000 Elders and farmer leaders. At each of the Jirgas it is tradition that a warm lunch is served to the participants. The picture shows James Brett and some Elders enjoying the lunch and discussing the proposed strategy.Oct 2009
The Jirga in the Southwestern province of Farah was attended by 14,211 Elders and leaders. Again, the value and sense of the Plant for Peace strategy was recognised, and a unanimous decision to support the initiative was reached.Oct 2009
Pom354 Charity dinner Kensington Palace
In March 2009, POM354 held a charity dinner at Kensington Palace in London. Special guests included UK British Army Chief General Sir Richard Dannatt , Baroness Rawlings and Kay Burley from Sky News. More than 20 Afghans visited the UK from Afghanistan to attend the event.Feb 2009
The first farmer gets his trees
The journey has begun in earnest!
The short window of time available for planting pomegranate trees and delays in processing project proposals, resulted in 'only' planting 40,000 trees during the 2009 season. James Brett financed this exercise mainly from his own resources.
By this time, the attitude of everyone directly involved was very much: "Failure is no longer an option!"Jan 2009
Burning US$ 780 million of opium
After the Jalalabad meeting, the Ministry of Counter narcotics arranged for a select group of representatives and the national media, to go into the mountains near Jalalabad and destroy confiscated opium, estimated to represent approximately US$ 780 million.Oct 2008
The Jalalabad Jirga
The Jalalabad Jirga was attended by appr. 6,500 Elders and leading farmers from the Eastern provinces. A picture of the people at the meeting is included in the slides at the top of this page. Again, the entire meeting decided to support the Plant for Peace initiative.Oct 2008
The Second Jirga
The second Jirga was considerably smaller than the first, but, with representatives from the four Eastern provinces, the impact was substantial as these provincial leaders, again, decided to fully support the Plant for Peace initiative.Aug 2008
The First Jirga
A Jirga is a traditional meeting of tribal Elders to decide on a wide variety of issues. All decisions must be unanimous and are unconditionally binding to the participants of the meeting and the tribes they represent.
The Jirga was held near the first farmer's village (Markoh) in Nangarhar province (Eastern Afghanistan). Some 200 Elders were invited. Almost 400 Elders from all over the province attended the meeting. After considering the proposal presented by James Brett, the Elders decided unanimously to support the initiative.Feb 2008
Pomegranate is the Answer
By walking into a poppy field, James Brett took the first steps towards the realisation of the Plant for Peace initiative.
Sharing their common humanity allowed the farmer and James to connect and embark on a shared journey.
The experience has not always been easy, but there was never any doubt about the sense and validity behind the desire to develop a strategy to improve the livelihoods of the rural communities in Afghanistan. This applies to the mindset of these two first participants, as well as to the commitment of the many people who have joined the Plant for Peace initiative since/ 2007.