Vegetable dehydration and processing factory, USAID Afghanistan, 2005

    Over twelve hundred Afghan farmers and women involved in sun drying vegetables were contracted to produce and supply selected types of vegetables required by the vegetable dehydration and processing factory in Afghanistan to meet the dried vegetable demand of European buyers. The factory, which is located in Parwan province, is owned by the Parwan Dehydrates Company, which is 60% owned by Development Works Canada (DWC) and 40% owned by the to-be-established Parwan Growers Association. DWC is a for-profit Company and an Implementing Partner of the USAID-funded, Rebuilding Agricultural Markets Program in Afghanistan.

    The Parwan Growers Association that is being established is comprised of contracted farmers who sell their produce to the Parwan Dehydrates Company and, once the Association is formed and invested in the Company, will share in the profits from the sales of the dehydrated vegetables. After a delayed start-up of the factory, procurement of the vegetables and processing and marketing of the dried vegetables reached about 15 metric tons of dried product per month.

    With many lessons learned and operating problems solved, an average of 25 metric tons of dried vegetables are planned to be exported to Europe per month over the next twelve months. Once the factory reaches profitable sales of dehydrated vegetables and the farmers in the Association realize a profit from the vertical integration, the dehydrates business is expected to expand and give farmers a long-term, stable income.