Rep. Huffman and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Announce over $61 Million USAID Award to Roots of Peace

November 16, 2016

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) today announced an award of $61,294,444 from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Commercial Horticulture and Agricultural Marketing Program (CHAMP) to San Rafael-based nonprofit, Roots of Peace. This funding, which was formally signed yesterday at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul with the USAID Mission Director, Herbert Smith and the founder and CEO of Roots for Peace, Heidi Kuhn, will assist Roots of Peace in their effort to convert conflict zones in Afghanistan into farmland, stimulate economic growth, and increase the quality of life in these agricultural communities.

“Roots of Peace’s work to improve the lives and livelihood of Afghans through sustainable agricultural practices is important,” said Rep Huffman. “This USAID award of over $61 million will go a long way for Roots of Peace as they work to help Afghanistan recover from decades of war in the region.”

“Roots of Peace receiving this award is a boost to their mission in ensuring that vulnerable communities across the world overcome the darkness of conflict,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  “I am proud of their outstanding work and leadership under Heidi Kuhn, and wish them continued success.”

"Afghanistan is a country 80% dependent upon agriculture.  Roots of Peace leads with the 'shovel' not the 'sword' as we empower Afghan farmers to cultivate fruits and vegetables for export,” said Heidi Kuhn, Founder/CEO of Roots of Peace.  By creating jobs, we keep young farmers 'rooted' in their land rather than traversing continents as refugees looking for work in Europe and other parts of the world.

Roots of Peace aims to restore economic vitality by creating livelihood opportunities in post-conflict regions, such as Afghanistan.  They assist and support individuals and communities to transform areas affected by war into arable land through working to remove leftover land mines and other live munitions and convert that land into farmland. Through giving people the means to produce sustainable agricultural crops, as well as distributing and selling their products, Roots of Peace will help put Afghanistan on the  path toward a stable economy.

USAID’s CHAMP works with Afghans to increase quality crop yields and prepare for the export of products. These products can range from mung beans, pomegranates, apples, grapes, apricots, melons, and others. CHAMP helps support and facilitate these communities through each stage to assure the quality of these products.