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Helping Afghanistan Regain its World-Class Raisin Export Industry

Afghan farmer Mohammadullah working in is vineyard | PHOTO © ABBAS Farzami/Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

Challenge

Afghanistan’s raisin farmers used to supply snacks for people around the world. For many decades through the 1970s, the country claimed about 20 percent of the global market for raisins. But years of conflict and political instability contributed to a decline in production volumes and quality, and farmers lost market share—as well as income.

Today, less than 40 percent of Afghan raisins are exported. These are traded at deep discounts compared with those from neighboring countries because they fall short of international quality and food safety standards.

 

Solution

The Rikweda Fruit Processing Company aims to help Afghanistan reclaim its status as a world-class raisin producer and exporter. With support from GAFSP and IFC, Rikweda has built a greenfield raisin processing plant with a production capacity of 15,000 tons per annum. IFC will invest US$3 million in financing to support the project, while GAFSP has provided a first-loss guarantee of up to $1.25 million. The project will create a market for high-quality, locally processed Afghan raisins and is expected to double Afghanistan’s raisin processing capacity as well as link the country’s raisin supply chain to global markets. Rikweda is also seeking support from USAID to employ women under the Women in Economy program, which will contribute to the company’s staffing needs at the processing facility.

Country

Afghanistan

Funding

Private

Focus area

  • Fragility
  • Inclusive Business

Supervising entity

IFC

Results

The project has the potential to improve livelihoods for approximately 3,000 smallholder farmers in remote rural areas by strengthening their access to the market. The new raisin processing plant will create a total of 50 full time jobs, of which 35 will likely be held by women. Once the facility is at full production after it opens later this year, the project will also help avoid up to 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year as the adoption of commercial-grade processing standards will reduce losses of grapes.

Contact

Mr. Niraj H. Shah
Principal Investment Officer
Program Manager, GAFSP Private Sector Window
nshah1@ifc.org
Washington, DC
Tel: 202 473 3743

Work with Us

Launched in 2010, the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP) represents a transformative approach to development aid that pools donor funds to make lasting improvements by supporting technically sound, country-led plans and sustainable, inclusive small- and medium-sized enterprises. The inaugural donors—Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Spain, and the United States—were soon joined by Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. GAFSP’s donors work in partnership with recipients, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and their families. Millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world will directly benefit from GAFSP’s continued commitment and support. GAFSP looks to engage other donors and stakeholders in this important initiative.

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