The foundation stone of a milk processing factory was laid in Kabul during a ceremony on Tuesday.
Speaking at the ceremony, Nasir Ahmad Durrani, the Minister of Agriculture, said the factory will be constructed with the capacity of processing 80,000 liters of milk in 24 hours.
“Seven types of good-quality dairy, namely milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, butter, and dried curd will be produced in the factory,” Minister Durrani said.
He added that the factory is estimated to cost some 3.3 million USD, funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).
The project will be implemented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“Upon the operation of the factory, the imports of dairy products will be reduced and this will contribute to the economic growth as well,” Minister Durrani further said.
Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture show that, on average, 3,000 metric tons of beef and 1,952,000 tons of milk are produced and consumed annually in the country.
Still, with annual exports of cattle skins worth 8.56 million USD and dried curd worth over 200,000 USD, livestock holders have a major share in the total of 15 % of agricultural GDP.
The Minister of Agriculture called the start of the construction of the factory “another stride towards the growth, support and strengthening of livestock” that could help “reduce dairy imports and boost the national economy.”
At the same event, Fabrizio Cesaretti, an official from the FAO said that the construction of the factory will bring positive changes in the life of livestock keepers in the country.