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Asian Development Bank to build five slaughterhouses in Afghanistan

Immigration News

Asian_Development_Bank11 (1)The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced a grant of $11 million for enhanced project facilities, primarily to support slaughterhouses and modernization of the livestock industry.

The fund is in fact coming from the government of the United Kingdom (UK) but it would be transferred to ADB and spent through Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund (DFID Funding).

ADB provided a $30 million grant from its Special Funds for the Agriculture Market Infrastructure Project to build facilities and standards in the livestock and horticulture industries. The Afghan government is making an in-kind contribution of $1 million.

“The project is investing in five slaughterhouses as well as a number of small-scale packing, sorting, grading, drying, and cold storage facilities for the horticulture sector, and help build up the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to create and implement sanitary and phytosanitary regulations,” said Thomas Panella, ADB’s country director for Afghanistan, on the occasion of the signing ceremony.

“Since 2001, there have been gains in horticulture production and livestock numbers, but the sector still needs major and rapid improvement in basic facilities, and regulatory policies. At present, butchers slaughter animals in the street or in backyards because of the destruction of abattoirs during the war.”

Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, Minister of Finance, said “We are very pleased to sign this grant provided by the ADB and appreciate ADB’s commitment to improved infrastructure in Afghanistan.  Agriculture is one of the government’s priority sectors and a foundation for improved livelihoods and economic growth.  We are very appreciative to the focus of ADB and the UK to the sector’s development.”

The project aimed to cut product losses, raise product standards and increase product competitiveness in both domestic and international markets. It will increase returns to producers and traders, provide opportunities to add value to products and create employment, as well as bringing public health and environmental benefits.

Setting up new facilities, marketing infrastructure, and a regulatory environment that cuts post-harvest losses will also help galvanize private sector interest in the agriculture industry. It will address key constraints limiting private businesses investment, by improving marketing and supply chains, and product standards.

To help encourage private investment, the project will use a leasing model, with the management and operation of the slaughterhouses contracted to private companies. In the medium term, ownership can be transferred to the private sector. Similarly, marketing facilities set up in the horticulture sector will be operated and managed by farmer organizations and agricultural cooperatives, which will eventually assume ownership.

The project will have additional benefits for rural households and the general economy, as the incremental returns from the enterprises will provide households with viable cash alternatives to illegal opium poppy production, which has become a major cash crop for many rural households.

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