A new association which aims to coordinate and promote fresh fruit and vegetable exports from Afghanistan has completed work on a new packing facility in Kandahar, it has been confirmed.
According to a press release, the Fresh Fruit Export Union of Kandahar (FFEUK) was set up to promote the export of fresh fruit from Afghan province and is comprised of member traders aiming to export fruit from the region.
FFEUK recently completed its new packing facility, which includes pre-chillers and coldstorage equipment, to facilitate refrigerated and non-refrigerated shipments out of the country – either by truck, by seafreight via Karachi in nearby Pakistan, or by air shipment via the capital, Kabul.
Another organisation, meanwhile, the Dried Fruit Export Association of Kandahar (DFEAK) is also working to promote exports of dried fruit and nuts from the province, working with processed and non-processed dried fruit, as well as shelled and unshelled nuts.
"DFEAK is in the process of constructing a new processing line that will be operational later this year," said a spokesperson for the group. "The new line will size, shell and clean (ultra-violet) nuts and dried fruit.
Roots of Peace, a humanitarian, not-for-profit organisation that has been working in Afghanistan since the spring of 2003, has worked with Kandahar growers and exporters to clear minefields and re-establish perennial crops.
The organisation has also been involved in developing handling and processing centres, as well as bringing exporters into contact with potential markets like India, where it recently led a trade mission.