Kazakhstan exporters to deliver fortified flour to Afghanistan

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KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on April 8 said that Kazakhstan’s business owners have agreed to ensure at least 50 percent of their wheat flour, salt and cooking oil exports to Afghanistan will be fortified, Afghanistan’s TOLOnews agency reported.

The ACCI welcomed this move and said it would mean the foodstuff would have added vitamins and minerals – which will help combat various health problems among Afghans.

“Kazakhstan has agreed to sell us at least 50 percent fortified flour. We had also requested the same from Pakistan, but they never accepted it,” Khan Jan Alokozay, deputy head of ACCI said.

A number of food importers meanwhile welcomed the move and said using fortified foods will decrease health issues among Afghans.

“If fortified foods are imported into the country, it will be to the benefit of our people,” said Abdulwahid, a flour importer.

“Currently, a lot of Kazakhstan food has replaced that of Pakistan at markets. We will import more Kazakhstan products if its quality is better,” said Zahir, a food seller.

According to statistics, Afghanistan needs six million tons of flour a year, and 50 percent of that is imported.

Owners of Afghan flour processing plants said, however, that instead of importing flour, the Afghan government should invest in the industry and fortify its own flour.

Food fortification is the addition of key vitamin and minerals, such as iron, folic acid, iodine, vitamin A, and zinc, to staple foods to improve their nutritional content and address a nutritional gap in a population.

Sergey Kwan

TCA