On April 27, the Koh-e-Tolkha Cooperative in Panjsher Province celebrated the opening of a new cool storage facility. USAID’s Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development Program provided a grant to finance construction of the facility and to train farmers on proper produce storage techniques.
In the past, local farmers’ profitability was limited by the lack of product storage facilities. The farmers had to sell their products when harvested, flooding the market with fresh produce and sharply reducing its price, leaving farmers with great profit losses. In addition, about 30 percent of the produce was lost due to spoilage. The new facility can hold 50 metric tons of fresh fruit and other agricultural products, allowing farmers to store their produce and sell it when prices and demand increase during post-harvest months.