FAO in Afghanistan

World Milk Day Celebration in Afghanistan


For the first time in the history of Afghanistan's dairy sector, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in close cooperation with International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and Ministry of Education (MoE) celebrated 1st June as the World Milk Day (WMD) at Rabia -e- Balkhi high school, Kabul.

FAO has promoted 1st June as the World Milk Day to recognize the importance of milk as global food. This was initiated in June 2001 and has since become an annual event in many countries throughout the world. In 2015, more than 50 countries around the world celebrated World Milk Day and the number of participating countries is growing each year. The activities included holding marathons and family runs, milking demonstrations and farm visits, school-based activities, concerts, conferences and seminars, competitions and a range of events focusing on promoting the value of milk and illustrating the important role played the dairy industry in the national economy.

The Day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicize activities connected with milk and the milk industry. The fact that many countries choose to do this on the same day lends additional importance to individual national celebrations and shows that milk is a global food. FAO (was asked to propose a specific day on which all aspects of milk could be celebrated.
The objective of world milk day celebration is to increase the public awareness about the importance of milk and milk products, and dairy industry development in Afghanistan.

"The dairy industry is a good source of income and food for the majority of rural households, particularly destitute families," said by H.E Mir Amanuddin Haidari, Deputy Minister of MAIL. "By average, the annual milk production in Afghanistan is about 1.83 million metric tons, if this figure is divided over the population of Afghanistan, each person will receive 56.42 litres milk which is lower to international standards. If a person daily competes 7 gr proteins from the milk, the estimated annual requirement per person is 73 litres of milk, so in terms of milk consumption, we need to draw serious attention to increase milk production."

"Dairy products provide calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and protein for sustained development of bone health and strength, so it is very important for the school kids to drink a glass of milk per day," said by H.E Dr. Ibrahim "Shinwari, Deputy Minister of Education.
"Globally milk is recognized as an important food for all human beings but it is particularly important for children," said Mr. Tomio Shichiri, the FAO Representative in Afghanistan. "There is particular focus on girls' schools to receive messages on the importance of milk and some took milk products; it has been shown in countries where school milk programmes have been implemented that provide school children with milk at schools benefited them nutritionally."

This Day is also celebrated in three other provinces of the country: Herat, Nangarhar and Balkh. Milk and promotional materials are distributed to students of selected girl's schools in each city and a short video explaining dairy activities was displayed.

The event was facilitated by FAO, CLAP project through dairy unit in close coordination with MAIL and MoE. In all cases dairy companies and other stakeholders are given opportunity to display and market their products. MAIL staff, the media and some dairy cooperatives members (especially women) also participated in the event.