AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Afghanistan as an agricultural country and with having more than two million cattle, still imports $42 million worth of dairy products from neighboring countries per annum, said official on Friday.
According to figures by the Central Statistics Organization (CSO), Afghanistan produces around 1.5 million tons of dairy products every year, but the country has paid nearly $18 million for importing 290,000 tons of dairy products in past nine months. The dairy products are mostly imported from Iran and Pakistan.
The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) technical chief, Lutfullah Rang, said that there are around 2.1 million dairy cattle in the country that have the capacity to produce 1.5 million tons of milk.
He said that due to lack of control in the country’s ports, imported dairy products have occupied local markets.
Recently, the UN officials stressed on establishment of dairy processing plants, and said this decision would prove vital for economic growth in the country and in the meantime it would improve the dairy products of Afghanistan.
The FAO opened a dairy processing factory in eastern Nangarhar province which has the capacity of processing 10,000 liters of milk on daily basis.
Head of the factory, Ziaullah Danish, said that seven different types of dairy products are produced and packed in the factory, which meet international standards.
The FAO officials said that five medium processing plants are operating in the country with the capacity of processing one million liters of milk. Moreover, 15 small factories are active in the country that process 180,000 liters of milk.