July 8, 2014

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan Grapes: A Growing Industry

Khaama Press, Afghanistan
written by Staff
Sunday July 6, 2014

Afghanistan is rebuilding trade its ties in its neighborhood after decades of conflict that left all infrastructures of the country destroyed, including the economic and trade infrastructures.

The export of Afghanistan’s fresh and dry fruits to neighboring countries and international market with the support of international community is a sign that Afghanistan is actively rebuilding its trade ties.

Export of grapes to India and United Arab Emirates and pomegranates to Russia for the first time following decades of conflict, is the sign of development in reconstruction of Afghanistan’s trade ties with world.

With support from USAID’s Commercial Horticulture and Marketing Program (CHAMP), cold storage infrastructure is being put in place, as well as refrigerated ground shipment capability. This allows traders to ship Afghanistan’s famous table grapes to new markets in a cost-effective way, via Pakistan.

In October 2011, Afghan Focus, an exporter, sent its first refrigerated shipment of grapes to the Indian capital, Delhi. It was a small order – less than five metric tons – but it had a big impact. Though it took nine days – three times the estimated time – to reach its destination, the grapes remained fresh.

The Indian buyers were satisfied and a year later, grape exports were nudging 170 metric tons in a follow-up shipment. It was a measure of Afghanistan’s success in a growing sector.

Indian buyer Chaman Lal described the first grape shipment as great. “It was good news that Afghan fruits will once again achieve the position they deserve in the international market,” he said.

No comments: