Thriving local businesses bring jobs to Afghanistan

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank

TMP – 20/11/2017

A local dairy factory in the Dehdadi district of Afghanistan’s Balkh province is one of a number of thriving local businesses creating employment opportunities for thousands of Afghans.

Established with the support of the United States Agency for International Development, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and farmers of Balkh province in June 2007, the dairy factory has steadily expanded over the years. It is now producing 5,000 litres of dairy products a day, compared to 2,000 litres in 2007.

The pasteurization factory caters to local demand for yoghurt, cream, butter, buttermilk and other dairy products, so far only provided by expensive international imports.
“Since we supply a whole range of pasteurized dairy products in Mazar-e-Sharif markets, we hope to compete with imported supplies and meet the needs of consumers,” said Qiyamuddin Qiam, head of the Balkh Livestock Development Union.

The factory collects fresh milk from 15 milk collection centres across the Dehdadi and Nahri Shahi districts, which in turn procure milk directly from dairy farmers. Many of these dairy farmers are women, who receive 20 AFS (about US$ 0.30) per litre.
Mohammad Mousa, a 46-year-old farmer from Dahdadi district, is one of many who have benefitted from the expansion of the dairy factory.

“My son was jobless two years ago, but now works with the cows I bought when the demand for fresh milk increased,” said the father of nine. “We sell an average of 40 litres of milk per day and earn 800 AFS [US$ 13].”