Exporters of high-value Afghan food products will showcase their goods for international buyers this week at the Gulfood Exhibition, the world’s largest food and beverage trade show.
Over 50 Afghan businesses are attending the five-day exhibition in Dubai from February 17 to 21 to meet prospective buyers, with over half of them displaying Afghanistan’s finest fruits, saffron, nuts, spices, vegetables and juices.
According to a USAID statement, last year, Afghan businesses inked over $30 million in signed and potential deals for Afghan agricultural products.
“Gulfood has had a dramatic effect on our ability to generate overseas sales,” said Bilal Ahmad, president of King Khan Ltd., a Kandahar-based fruit exporter. “Because of Gulfood we’ve been able to export 2,000 metric tons in horticultural products,” he added, referring to King Khan’s past participation.
The statement further added that this is the ninth consecutive year that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the participation of Afghan traders at Gulfood. Now in its 24th year, the exhibition comprises one million square feet of exhibition space for 5,000 exhibitors from the food, drink, and hospitality industries. Last year’s exhibition saw more than 98,000 visitors from 193 countries.
Participation at Gulfood comes on the heels of successful USAID-supported trade shows in New Delhi and Mumbai, India, and Almaty, Kazakhstan. In 2018, Afghan agribusinesses signed $278 million in contracts for Afghan agricultural products.