By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: Investment by private sector to increase domestic products is glad tidings to the people.
Today, tens of small and big factories are established throughout the country, not only producing foodstuffs but other essentials available at the domestic markets.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) has recently reported an increase in the production of food items and added that at present, most food items and sauce are produced inside Afghanistan through various projects among them Horticulture Value Development Sector Project (HVDSP) project that produces tomato paste and jam.
Bahar-e-Sabz-e- Paghman tomato paste factory will be established with a cost of $4m out of which $1 million will be paid through the MoAIL by the ADB and Jam production factory of Hazrat Mohammad Kochay in Nangarhar province costing $3.21 million and 50 percent support of ADB.
According to information of HVDSP officials, Bahar-e-Sabz- Paghman tomato paste factory will be producing high quality four metric ton paste every hour and tomatoes will be supplied from Logar and Nangarhar provinces and the second one Hazrate Moahmmad Kochay Jam factory produces 50 metric tons of jam from carrot, figs, mulberry and oranges every hour.
Deputy MAIL Hashmatullah Ghafoori said that this should be evaluated that how much tomato paste was imported into Afghanistan so that its domestic production be properly managed, paste products be increased and high taxes be levied on paste imports.
Ghafoori added, MAIL experts should offer essential technical advices to officials of these factories on production of quality products to enable them to compete with similar foreign products in domestic markets.
He emphasized on the need for packing and high taste of the products, particularly the sauces.
This should be noted that at present that Afghanistan imports large part of its paste and jam from Iran and Turkey.
But as the factory got operational, the domestically consumed paste will be produced and supplied inside the country.
Large investments have taken place in the country’s western Herat province and at present different kinds of tomato paste are produced and offered to the domestic markets in the province.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in the last two months 10 new factories have been set up and started operation in Kandahar, Herat and Nangarhar provinces and private investors have received 9.3 billion Afghani and $50 million increase for investment in recent months and 40 more factories are said to be set up and start operations in the near future by domestic investors in Herat.
A none-alcoholic beverage company has also been expected to be opened soon in Herat province with an investment of Afs 1.5 billion equivalent to $ 20 million in which over 1,000 workers will be employed.