Store for More: Afghan Potato Farmers Open the Door on Profits

Video | 29 May 2013

In Bamyan, a simple shed creates opportunities for farmers to store their potatoes and increase profits. And the local potato consumers benefit too.

Transcript

Title: Store for More: Afghan Potato Farmers Open the Door on Profits

Description: In Bamyan, a simple shed creates opportunities for farmers to store their potatoes and increase profits. And the local potato consumers benefit too.

VO: Bamyan, northwest of Kabul, farmers grow a humble but essential staple –potatoes. And while 80% of Afghanistan’s potatoes are grown here - once during spring time, you could never find any to buy.

Mohammed Moslem from the Bamyan Urban Cooperative says that’s because over 60% of the crop would rot during the winter because there was no storage for the potatoes. But now there is.

Over one thousand cold storage rooms have reduced potato loss down to less than 1%. And farmers’ incomes have increased by over 3.2 million dollars in just three years.  Each cold storage room dug into the rocky earth with proper ventilation and insulation can preserve 25 tons of potatoes for up to six months, meaning potatoes are now available year round.

Hussein Jain now farms four tons of potatoes a year and puts three tons of those in storage with an increasing value during autumn and winter. By spring they have doubled their price. Modest shelters for the humble potato, a simple solution to increasing profits and livelihoods.