Chairman Dr. Steven Kwon of the Nutrition & Education International (NEI), an international NGO, hosted a Shipment Ceremony for Sterilized Soymilk Plant in Afghanistan at Daesung Food Tech. Co., Ltd. Headquarter (factory) in Suwon, Korea.
NEI, cooperating with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Korea and the World Food Programme (WFP), is proceeding briskly on the installation of a sterilized soymilk plant for the first time in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is known to have world’s worst mortality rate of children under age 5 and maternal mortality rate. More over half of the populations are stunted. Hence, “Seeds of Hope” project of NEI has initiated since 2003 on eradicating malnutrition of impoverished women and children and prepare infrastructure for sustainable life of the farmers in Afghanistan up to today.
NEI introduced soybean to the country for the first time and trained over 70,000 farmers in soybean cultivation. Currently, soybeans are cultivated in 22 provinces in Afghanistan out of 34 and it is consumed in households and markets.
The sterilized soymilk plant is a long-term project to eradicate malnutrition and improve protein consumption to the Afghans as the production of soybean in the country increased. The plant can produce 40,000 pouches (190ml) a day and can be stored in a room temperature for an extensive period, which can help provide protein not only to the cities but also the mountainous districts.
NEI hosted the ceremony at the Daesung Food Tech. Co., Ltd. (manufacturer of sterilized soymilk for the last 8 months in Korea) with WFP (World Food Programme). Leaders and members of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Korea, Korean Afghan Friendship Association, Korean Soybean Society and parties concerned attended the meeting as the honorable guests of the proceeding.
The sterilized soymilk plant facilities (40ft, 25 containers) will be shipped to Afghanistan from Busan to Karachi (southern part of Pakistan) and from Karachi to Afghanistan it will be transferred by land. In September, the installation of the Sterilized Soymilk Plant will be completed and the production will begin in the real earnest in the same month.
Congratulatory Address by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (read by Second Secretary Firozi S.Jamalluddin):
It is a great honour for me to be here with you on this occasion of a shipment ceremony for sterilized soymilk plant in Afghanistan. The Embassy of Afghanistan in Seoul is sending the heartfelt congratulations to the first installation of sterilized soymilk plant in Afghanistan.
The NEI has been worked in Afghanistan over the past years in order to achieve its goal of providing protein for people with malnutrition.
This Sterilized soymilk plant commits NEI to work together with other concern entities more closely towards a common goal to eradicate malnutrition and improve protein consumption of the people. Soybean is a viable crop that can be produced on a large scale in Afghanistan.
At this moment of celebration, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone whose dedication and efforts have contributed to the finalization of this project.
hank you, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic Korea and World Food programme for all your work.
In closing, I would like to say that I am confident that through our efforts and commitment, we will be able to achieve more and to be able to continue to develop even stronger relationships and friendships between the people of Afghanistan and Korea.
I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the Embassy of Afghanistan in Seoul will do whatever it can in order to provide a successful implementation of this project. .
Congratulatory speech by the representative of WFP at shipment ceremony
Distinguished guests, NEI board of directors and staff, and Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure on behalf of World Food Programme and Mr. Lim, head of Korea Office, to join you in celebrating the Shipment Ceremony of Sterilized Soymilk Plant Facility as part of NEI “Seeds of Hope” project in Afghanistan.
We would like to congratulate NEI for this fruitful outcome of expanding sterilized soy milk processing facilities in Afghanistan. We are grateful for and proud of the achievement that has been made to eradicate protein-energy malnutrition, especially among women and children.
WFP and NEI have established successful partnership for years in Afghanistan, thanks to the brilliant leadership of Dr. Kwon and relentless efforts of NEI-led researchers and its staff. WFP collaborates with NEI, contributing to Afghanistan’s remarkable nutrition improvement under the project called Purchase for Progress (p4p), connecting Afghan farmers to local markets to boost their soybean production and to sell their surplus at a fair price.
However, without NEI’s soybean nutrition initiative in Afghanistan, that recognized that malnutrition is linked with protein deficiency, we wouldn’t have brought in as a positive and bright change as now.
Last but not least, I’d like to also mention that the most important key to this successful operation, would be the concerted efforts of international donors, government officials, MOFA Korea, and particularly, Afghan communities including local farmers and trainers. This synergy effect has certainly led and will lead the project “Seeds of Hope” to be more hopeful and bright in Afghanistan’s future.
We highly appreciate NEI’s mission and efforts to combat chronic malnutrition in Afghanistan, for Zero Hunger that is WFP’s mission to eradicate hunger worldwide.
WFP is looking forward to continuous partnership with NEI and wishes successful establishment of a self-sustainable soybean industry in Afghanistan.