Through a feasibility study conducted in late 2009, FAF Developments fount that the Kabul Juice Plant is an important link in the fruit and vegetable value chain in Afghanistan. The study examined the existing value chain of fruit and vegetables and cited enhancements that will better serve all actors, especially farmers in this chain. The report analyzed various alternatives to supply. It considered collection and transport costs, cold storage availability and requirements, fruit quantities that are available and which are required, variable pricing during various seasons, costs and methods of sorting and grading, payment options for the fruits, contractual considerations between the factory/farmers, and other pertinent factors affecting supply.
The Kabul Juice Plant is the first concentrate juice facility in Afghanistan. This plant is one of the first processing facilities to meet international standards of quality and food safety within the country. The plant is designed to process and handle fruit and vegetables using the some of best and most effective technologies that are available today.
This plant is definitely the first step into changing the culture of traditional fruit handling in Afghanistan. In its first season of operations, the plant is already beginning to revolutionize the fruit and vegetable chain in the country by providing the missing processing link. This project can act as a model (or a commercial pilot) for other agricultural and/or non-agricultural value chains in the country.
The major challenge for the Kabul Juice Plant is that it is in its first year of production, therefore, it still in not a well-known alternative for second quality fruit and vegetables. In addition, up until now, there has been no processing industry for fresh fruit, thus the poorer quality fruit is not processed; farmers simply include all quality grades of produce in one box for fresh fruit sales. This is a cultural habit that will be difficult to change.