RC(SW): New solar-powered packing facility could change life for Afghan farmers
MARJAH, Afghanistan — Construction of a new produce packing plant, the Marjeh Fruit and Vegetable Packing Facility, complete with a solar-powered cold storage facility, was recently finished, inspected and is now ready for business.
The Marjah plant could change the supply-and-demand economic model for area farmers. Marjah lies just east of the Helmand River which provides the necessary water, through an intricate network of canals, to grow a variety of crops year-round. But local farmers struggle to deliver their produce to distant markets.
Major Erich Bergiel, project supervisor and member of the Regional Command Southwest Economic Development section, related the problem of getting produce to market in an Afghan parable: “Put fresh pomegranate in the back of your truck and on the way to market it turns into pomegranate jelly.”