Parwan, the land of grape growers, has a history of producing the best quality of grapes. Parwan’s reputation in grape growing has been so much famous that it has repetitively appeared as a distinctive identity of the province, in folkloric songs and poems. Parwan has one of the most favorable climatic conditions for grapes and raisin production. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, Afghanistan used to produce 10% of the worlds’ raisin, its raisin production peaked at 86,000 metric tons in 1981. But, recent years of civil war and conflict have negatively impacted and have disabled grapes value chain. During the regime of Taliban only, a huge portion of the vineyards were set to fire to reduce the risk of ambush attacks by the enemy. Although many projects tried to re-strengthen this sector, grapes value chain is still in dire need of rehabilitation.
With this initiative Parwan’s prosperity grows up again. Its grapes and raisins will be displayed in international markets once more.
The local farmers will now produce on commercial scale to boost their income and national economy.
To remedy the situation Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development Facility (CARD-F), funded by the British and Danish governments, stepped in to address this challenge. CARD-F supports the local farmers of Parwan province in grapes production by providing not only good techniques of trellising to increase production but also have strategic plans for post-production of the produced grapes in order to save the surplus. With the support of International Aid, Parwan has been able to retrieve its reputation in grape production. However, due to the vulnerable nature of grapes, farmers are still bargaining with the markets from a disadvantaged position. As the grapes will easily rot if it does not reach markets on time. Now with the help of CARD-F, the surplus of the grapes will go to Kishmish khana (raisin drying facilities).
So far, CARD-F has provided trellising support to 118 Jeribs of vineyards on cost-sharing basis with the local farmers that have increased the productivity by 100 percent. Additionally, CARD-F has established 6 raisin drying units (Kashmish Khana) with the overall capacity of drying 26 metric tons of quality raisins at any given time. Moreover, CARD-F aims to establish 20 more drying facilities and the establishment of a grapes processing factory in Parwan province with the capacity of processing 16,500 metric tons of grapes annually into three different products; pickle, jam and juice. This will help the local producers to grow more grapes and bargain from a position of strength with the local and regional markets and it will significantly impact the economy of the country as a whole.