Minister of Agriculture Assadullah Zamir on Monday announced plans to build a series of industrial parks that will facilitate the processing, packing and distribution of fresh and dried fruits for Afghan producers and traders.
"The ministry looks forward to establishing new industrial parks where fresh and dry fruits will be processed and packed in a standardized manner," Minister Zamir said. "These parks are the only options that could boost fruit products and our exports abroad," he added.
Representatives of the industry, like Nijabat Haidari, the head of the Fresh Fruits Association, have embraced the plan, saying that it will help both farmers and members of the business community. But still some doubts regarding the Ministry of Agriculture's reliability remain.
"Establishment of the parks will help growers increase their exports," Haidari said. "But the important thing for the Ministry of Agriculture to address are the commitments and promises it has made, which shouldn't just remain on paper," he added.
Fruit industry leaders in Afghanistan have long complained about inaction and lack of support from the government. Despite fresh and dried fruits being one of Afghanistan's major exports, leaders in the sector have often said they lack backing when it comes to developing export opportunities, and finding storage and processing locations for their products.