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Supporting Afghanistan's livestock sector through South-South Cooperation

Experts from Thailand visit a newly-opened animal feed quality control laboratory in Afghanistan

Experts from Thailand provide technical support to animal feed laboratory technicians

15/07/2019 - 

Kabul, Afghanistan - In Afghanistan, livestock plays a key role in shaping both incomes and diets of local households. Around 75% of Afghan families depend on agriculture and livestock. This strong dependence makes access to quality feed fundamental to achieve a satisfying level of animal productivity, health, and welfare. 

In the past, the lack of proper animal feed testing facility in Afghanistan required FAO to ship animal feed samples to other countries for analysis. These activities resulted in higher expenses and delayed processing times of up to a month, which affected the smooth implementation of the projects. Further challenges were caused by the use of improper storage containers for transportation or unnecessary delays that affected the tests by deteriorating the quality of the feed samples. 

Upon the request from the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and with FAO’s support through the South-South Cooperation Framework, experts from Thailand conducted an extensive needs assessment of the newly established animal feed quality control laboratory at the MAIL in Kabul.

A two-week mission comprised of two experts was carried out in June 2019 from the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) of the Royal Government of Thailand. The scope of the mission was to take stock of the existing laboratory equipment, assess the capacity of the Afghan laboratory technicians and conduct required technical training to around ten staff.

“We are very satisfied with the result of the training. Previously, we were unable to run the available equipment, however after the training, we know how to use and run them. At the beginning of the training, there were some shortcomings from our side since we were not fully equipped with the required knowledge and skill sets. However, this training opportunity really helped us develop our capacity since we could learn a lot and get the best out of this opportunity. We still need some more equipment to strengthen our laboratory, and we hope that FAO would facilitate similar training activities in future as well,” said Farid Karimi, Head of the laboratory.

“The laboratory is well equipped. However, there is still some equipment needed to run the laboratory properly, and the technicians need to develop the required skills on advanced technology as well”, said Udorn Srisaeng, animal feed lab expert from Thailand. “I am very happy to be here and transfer my technical knowledge to my Afghan counterparts,” said Nuttanart Khotprom, the other laboratory expert from Thailand.

Strengthening the capacity of this newly established laboratory is essential for the Government of Afghanistan, as it plays an important role in overseeing the activities of the private sector that are involved in the production and supply of animal feed.

“Developing the capacity of Afghan laboratory experts with support of Thai counterparts was an excellent initiative that was developed through South-South and Triangular Cooperation expertise. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Royal Government of Thailand for the support, and hope that we will be able to tap other resources from Thailand in coming days as well,” said Rajendra Aryal, FAO Representative in Afghanistan.