Salt production substitutes imports from other countries
30 OCTOBER 2011 | BALKH, AFGHANISTAN
Pamir Belawr Salt Refinery Company is a local Afghan-owned firm that produces salt in Mazar-i Sharif. The firm started business in 2006, and has received a 10-year contract from the Afghan Government to extract salt from the Dawlatabad District Quarry in Balkh Province. The company used basic equipment and machinery to extract and process salt. It did not have the capacity or the machinery to process the extracted salt into refined and crystallized form ready for consumption. It also did not have access to a lab to test the salt quality. Therefore, its product was low quality and unsafe.
To deal with some of the challenges and upgrade its production capacity, Pamir Belawr Company applied for and received a $150,200 grant from USAID in 2010. The firm used the financial support to build a quality control and testing laboratory, to procure a 600-kilowatt power generator and a power transformer, and to develop a better and more effective marketing strategy.
As a result of the support, Pamir has grown substantially. It has increased its production quantity from a mere 240 tons of unrefined salt to 480 tons of refined salt. It has also expanded its market reach from four provinces to 13 provinces. Further, it can now produce three types of salt compared to only one type in the past. As a result, it has captured nearly 70 percent of the market share for salt in the northern region. Pamir’s product can also now successfully compete with those from other countries in price and quality. The firm has increased the number of its employees from 50 to 200.
Haji Ismaeel, owner of Pamir Salt Production Company, said, "USAID support has helped Pamir in a number of ways. It helped us increase employment opportunities and produce better quality iodized salt. We can also expand our reach to another nine provinces in northern Afghanistan."
USAID’s public-private partnership grants are provided to enable firms, such as Pamir Belawr Salt Refinery Company, to address key challenges to their expansion and development. It also helps them diversify their products, explore further and new markets, and compete with imports from other countries because of increased capacity.
Last updated: January 12, 2015