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Germany

Germany Helps Sweeten Afghanistan

Life is about to get sweeter in war-torn Afghanistan after Germany announced its plans to help revitalize the country’s only sugar factory. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), part of a €3.3 million ($4.3 million) aid package from Berlin will be used to rebuild an abandoned sugar factory in Baghlan, 250 kilometers north of Kabul. Afghanistan has relied entirely on imported sugar since 1979, when the factory shut down after the country was invaded by the Soviet Union. FAO hopes the new investment will kickstart profitable beet production by local farmers, offering them an alternative to opium. “Many small farmers currently do not have the skills to ensure a stable sugar beet production and achieve quality requirements,” it added. To achieve this, a public-private partnership has been established between the Afghan ministry of foods and light industries, the German seed company KWS and a group of private Afghan investors. (AFP)

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