Exporters of Afghanistan’s finest fruits, nuts, spices, honey, and juices left a Mumbai trade event this week with contracts worth more than $123 million from buyers in India, one of the most lucrative trade events for Afghan agriculture exporters in recent years.
More than 55 exporters showcased their products at the two-day “Made in Afghanistan: Nature’s Best” Mumbai Trade Mission and Exhibition, organized by USAID in partnership with the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries.
Fruit led the way with $56 million in deals, followed by Asafoetida, or ‘hing,’ a spice used in food and cosmetics, with $43 million in deals. Contracts worth $15 million were signed for nuts, primarily for pistachios and almonds. Saffron reeled in deals valued at $4.6 million, while another $2.7 million was signed for other spices. Juices and honey made up the rest.
“Coming to India was a game changer for us,” said Hasina Bezhan Zaeefi, owner of Akaam Zaeefi, one of the women exporters invited to participate. “It gave us access to major Indian buyers.”
USAID is linking Afghan producers of high-value products with buyers from all over the world to benefit the Afghan economy and their journey to self-reliance.