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Afghanistan: First purchase under P4P

In Afghanistan’s Herat province, WFP signed two contracts with local producers for 100 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits. For this first WFP purchase under the P4P pilot project, the local companies Sadaf Arya and Dama Cake will each deliver 50 tons of fortified biscuits in October 2010.

The nutritious biscuits will then be distributed in WFP’s school meals programme in Afghanistan and make sure that the children get all the micronutrients they need.

P4P in Afghanistan is developing local capacity for food processing and manufacturing of biscuits and fortified blended foods. A WFP mission in March 2010 had assessed the readiness of the two private biscuit companies to start a production line of High Energy Biscuits (HEB) for WFP.  Until the end of 2010, Sadaf Arya and Dama Cake shall deliver a total of up to 2,000 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits.

P4P will also support other food processing activities such as flour fortification. Deficiency of micronutrients, especially iron, iodine and vitamin A, is a common problem in Afghanistan. Fortificated flour is the best vehicle to address these deficiencies in Afghanistan, as bread is the staple food here and the source of almost half of the caloric intake of Afghans.

More processed foods will be available on the market once Containerized Food Processing Units (CFPUs) are set up in the country. These were developed by WFP to rapidly initiate food processing activities. CFPUs are standardised food production lines, electrically pre-wired and pre-assembled into 20 feet shipping containers, allowing their rapid transportation and quick installation in almost any environment. Aimed at processing various basic aid commodities like High Energy Biscuits directly in host countries and from locally available resources, they promote local development and capacity building.