The officials on Saturday inaugurated a cold storage facility in Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The facility has been built with the financial support of U.S. Agency for International Development.

USAID said in a statement that cold storage facility at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) will enable exporters to increase shipments of perishable fresh fruits and vegetables to high-paying international markets, minimizing product loss and maximizing profit.

The statement further added that the facility was inaugurated at a ceremony on July 13 at the HKIA Customs Export Warehouse with keynote guests from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Deputy Minister Hashmatullah Ghafoory, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock thanked USAID for helping remove a long-standing impediment for large-scale air exports.

He further pointed out that this HKIA Cold Storage facility will serve as an excellent model for replication elsewhere in the country.

Zabihullah Ehsan, president of Tak Dana Ltd. said “We have buyers in Dubai, India and Europe who are interested in fresh fruits.”

Ehsan further added “Our fresh fruit exports require a consistent cold chain, but the cold chain could not be maintained due to the lack of cold storage at the airport.”

He also added that “This safeguards the fresh fruit in case of flight cancellation or delay and ultimately gives us a chance to compete in those markets.”

Meanwhile, USAID added in its statement that last month’s “Made in Afghanistan: Nature’s Best” Mumbai Trade Mission, also supported by USAID, demonstrated the growing demand for Afghan fresh fruit on the Indian subcontinent.

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