An Afghan company has become a good example of the way growth can set off a chain reaction
17 AUGUST 2013 | BALKH, AFGHANISTAN
A Mazar-i-Sharif company has become a good illustration of the well-known phrase ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. When Qarizada Tomato Paste Company secured a loan, it was able to grow and trigger organic growth in nearby provinces around.
Two USAID projects - Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan and Agriculture Credit Enhancement-Agriculture Development Fund - supported Qarizada owner Said Aref’s search for financing. A 2012 loan enabled Mr Aref to buy machinery and contract with 800 farmers in Baghlan and Balkh for a steady supply of tomatoes.
Niaz Mohammad says the Qarizada contract helped him expand his farm in Zozan village in Balkh. “They gave me an interest-free loan and I was able to hire 12 people. Qarizada buys my harvest at market price.”
Mr Mohammad is not the only one to have benefitted. With production poised to double, Qarizada hired 70 workers, 10 of them women like Marzia.
“There are eight people in my household. My disabled husband can’t work. I am very grateful for the work,” she says.