Afghanistan is well known for the quality and taste of the fruit and vegetables grown. Unfortunately, exports have been limited due to poor infrastructure and marketing.

Barakat Company Ltd. has identified the opportunity to establish a state of the art fresh fruit and vegetable packing facility in the Balkh Province. This packing facility will be built and operated according to international standards to export fruit and vegetables to the regional markets.

Construction will start in January 2009 with equipment being installed in May/June 2009 the facility will be fully operational in July 2009.

The facility will process fruit and vegetables available in Balkh province and will also be involved in producing high quality export quality fruit and vegetables. The facility will operate a minimum of 7 months yearly at 50 metric tons of fruit and vegetables process daily. Target raw material volumes for 2009 will include 1,000 tons pomegranates, 1,500 tons melons, 900 tons onions and 900 tons tomatoes a 80% increase of volumes in 2010 is projected. According to a survey done in Balkh province this will be around 5% of the current production of the fruit and vegetables mentioned above in the province.

The facility will be located on the premise of 6,400 sqm owned by Barakat and located in the Industrial Park. The building will cover an area of 715m2 pre manufactured building that was designed to comply with all standards and optimize product flow. State of the art equipment will be installed which including sorting, grading, cooling and packing equipment according to international standards. Total Capital expenditure for fixed assets is estimated at $844,000.

Produce processed at the facility will be marketed and sold in the markets where it will be the most profitable. The markets that will be focused on during the earlier phases will be the fast growing market of Dubai, India and Russia.

Management team for the facility will consist of highly experienced professionals in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry and extensive training will be done to permanent and seasonal labor. Technical assistance from the ASAP project will be provided to Barakat in establishing all codes and standards to operate the facility and to comply with international standards. Over 50 FTE jobs will be created in the facility.