Merajudin Amiri, Operations Manager of Tak Dana Food Processing Company, inspects their produce.
Haji Eshan knew there was a huge market for his agribusiness, but he lacked the capital to hire additional employees and buy large quantities of fruit and vegetables from local farmers.
He sought help in securing a loan so that his company, which adds value to agricultural products by repackaging them for sale domestically and abroad, could take on new clients.
USAID assisted Tak Dana Food Processing Co. in preparing the loan application, assessing the amount of financing needed, and liaising with the Afghanistan Rural Finance Company.
Tak Dana used the loan to purchase a bumper harvest of fruits and vegetables from farmers in the spring of 2012 through a contract farming agreement. Contract farming enables buyers to purchase agricultural products at preferential rates and gives farmers the security of guaranteed prices for their products.
“We were able to secure our inventory early and avail of special prices through contract farming,” said Haji Eshan. “We needed huge quantities of quality fresh fruits and vegetables to fill two new contracts.”
The loan enabled Tak Dana to fill those contracts and add 13 additional employees to handle the increasing workload.
Hassina, a young woman in her early twenties, was one of those new employees. Her parents’ untimely death made her the sole provider for her eight siblings, and the job at Tak Dana changed her life. “My income feeds my whole family, and I have a little more left to take care of the school needs of my younger brothers and sisters,” said Hassina, who recounted her family’s dire situation when she had no job.
By the end of 2012, Haji Eshan has already paid 50 percent of the loan and has plans to expand even further. “We have enough working capital this time and we have opened a branch in Dubai,” he said proudly. Tak Dana can now export over $400,000 of produce per year to Dubai.
Snapshot Timely Loan Inspires Growth