FOOD SAFETY PLACED ON FRONT BURNER IN AFGHANISTAN
May 2015—Amanullah Khanzada was unaware that his Afghan confectionary company needed to improve safety practices until a training program emphasized international hygiene standards.
Khanzada says he had always thought his Mazatoo Food Industry Co., which is based in Kabul, “operated our factory in a very hygienic way.”
Many food manufacturers in Afghanistan thought the same, which is why USAID’s Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises (ABADE) program implements a food safety training program for enterprises working in the food sector. USAID partners with small and medium enterprises in 10 provinces—primarily Kabul, Hirat, Balkh and Nangarhar—as they expand and helps to improve business management.
ABADE-trained food safety specialists assess companies’ premises, including the food production area, and recommend improvements to facilities and food safety and hygiene practices. Compliance with basic standards is required to receive equipment from the program.
Mazatoo was one of the manufacturers trained by the food safety specialists in April 2014. As a result, the company implemented a variety of food and sanitation rules, which included cleaning its equipment twice a day, washing and disinfecting workers’ uniforms every day, and instituting sanitized footwear in the workplace.
“We realized food safety is just as important for the success of our business as investing in machinery and buildings,” says Khanzada.
ABADE is a $105 million project that runs from October 2012 to October 2016. More than 200 public-private investment partnerships have been formed so far with Afghan small and medium enterprises, almost one-fourth of which are in the food manufacturing sector.
Source: USAID. Date: