A privately owned cold storage facility has been built in Kabul.
The facility, which is the largest cold storage build in the country, cost about five million US dollars.
It has the capacity of storing 5,000 tons of agricultural products at one time. Presently it is being used to store 2,000 tons of fresh apples.
According to the owner, the warehouse can store perishable fresh fruits and vegetables for a period of up to six months.
“We can store tomatoes for two months, grapes for three months, and pomegranates, apples and oranges for six months,” said Habib Rezaee, the owner of the facility.
Mr. Rezaee said that he plans to build similar cold storage facilities in 20 provinces.
An official from the Fresh Fruit Exporters Union told Ariana News that the building of such storage facilities will minimize product loss and maximize profits.
“The government has failed to build such facilities which benefit businessmen, farmers, and everyone,” said Mirwais Hajizada, Deputy of the Fresh Fruit Exporters Union.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) welcomes the construction of the cold storage by private investors.
“We welcome any investment by the private sector for the economy development; therefore, we have a close relation with the private sector,” said Samir Rasa, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Recently, officials in the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said the Afghan government has made little effort to find markets for fresh fruits being produced in the country.
Currently, fresh fruits are sold cheaply within domestic markets, while large amounts of fruit spoils every year due to the lack of standard refrigeration.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan is a fertile country that produces about 1.5 million tons of fresh fruits per year.
Last year, officials said the government is trying to build standard cold storage facilities to extend the lifespan of the country’s fruit, but farmers still suffer due to the absence of cold storage capacity across the country.