ASAWISHH Participates in National Oilseed Conference in Afghanistan

first_imgASA representative Rahmat Khan gives a presentation on SARAI, soybeans, and the roles of USDA and ASA.This week representatives from the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (ASA/WISHH) Soybeans for Agricultural Renewal Initiative (SARAI) attended the “National Conference on Development of Oilseed Crops,” held in Balkh Province, Afghanistan. The overall goal of the event, sponsored and organized by the United Nations and local universities, was to share lessons learned on Afghan oilseed crops—from planting to processing and marketing. More than 150 people attended the four-day event.ASA/WISHH staff man the booth at the National Oilseed Conference.Local SARAI production staff directly participated through a presentation on the SARAI project and its efforts to build a soy value chain in Afghanistan. SARAI had a booth at the conference that provided the opportunity to create a greater awareness of locally produced soybeans, and that a processing plant, the Naseeb Afghan Soybean Factory (NASF) in Mazar, built as part of the SARAI project, existed to support that production. The event included tours of various oil processing factories, including NASF. In addition, strengthening the “Oil Crops Growers Association of Afghanistan” (OCGAA,) another component of the SARAI project, was focused on at the event.ASA representatives remarked that because this was a national conference it attracted attendees from the more distant south and east regions of Afghanistan, areas that were unaware of the NASF. They also noted an interest by attendees in soy flour and oil.  One ASA attendee said, “As vegetable oil is very popular in almost all Afghan dishes, soybean oil was of interest because of its lower saturated fat content. The nutritional value of these oils is important as many people in the region have high blood pressure.” Conference participants tour the Naseeb Afghan Soybean Factorylast_img read more