11 November, 2006

Good News from Afghanistan and Iraq 5:

The next item in the occasional series reporting good news from Afghanistan and Iraq is a somewhat dated but fruity topic (sorry). In addition to all their other problems, the Iraqis have been struggling with bio-terrorism from Ommatissus binotatus. No, not an offshoot of Osama's bunch, although they may be distantly related, but the devastating palm leafhopper or dubas. According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, these little buggers have been decimating the Iraqi palm crop, causing severe economic hardship for many farmers.

Since earlier this year, Coalition forces have been tackling the problem. Now, as part of the rebuilding bit of Operation Sinbad, the British are planting lots of palm trees in Basra with a view to creating as many as 1,000 long term jobs.

The American blog, Tour of Duty, has some great pictures.


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