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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times

Govt seeks Kazakh flour replacement with wheat

Officials of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Thursday said that the minister of agriculture is leading a high-level delegation from the private sector to Kazakhstan where they will hold talks with Kazakh officials on reaching an agreement about the proposal.
The plan is aimed to address the vulnerabilities we have from the drought and to help the wheat processing factories, said MAIL spokesman Akbar Rustami.
According to industrialists, over 200 wheat processing factories have stopped working in the country and that the ongoing drought has left the factories almost bankrupt.
According to MAIL, this year there is a 700,000 ton wheat shortage from the domestic resources.
“With the cooperation of the private sector, wheat we need will be purchased. It is better to import wheat instead of flour, because this will help to create jobs and to revive those factories which have stopped working and this is also good in terms of economic activities,” said Rustami.
“In joint cooperation with the ministry of agriculture and irrigation, we have supplied over 56,217 tons of wheat to 20 provinces in the country, delivery has started to up to 120,000 families,” said Haseebullah Shaikhani, head of the public relations department of the ministry of national disaster management.
“Until now Kazakhstan has not officially certified the issue. The objective of the Afghan delegation under the leadership of the minister of agriculture and irrigation and head of the wheat processing factories union to convince the Tajik officials on the issue,” said Mohammad Shabeer Bashiri, head of the industrial council.
Based on statistics, Afghanistan currently has nine storage facilities in nine provinces.
Afghanistan needs six million tons of wheat annually and of this, 4.5 million tons comes from domestic sources and another 1.5 million from abroad.
According to MAIL, Afghanistan’s current storage capacity for cereal is estimated to be 270,000 tons. However, MAIL officials have said government would like the private sector to invest in the establishment of such facilities – especially for wheat.

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