From a gritty walled compound in a fringe of Kabul better known for bombs and violent demonstrations, Mustafa Sadiq is building a global empire on fruit, selling Afghan produce to the health-conscious in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Gaudily painted trucks line up outside Sadiq's 'Omaid Bahar' factory and workers in juice-stained clothes unload sacks of pomegranates.
The fruit's dark red seeds are prized in Europe for their abundant antioxidants, and in Japan where many believe they can help fight cancers in the aftermath of last year's Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.
"Besides a thousand things negative said about Afghanistan, no one can ignore the quality, the taste of our fruits, that everywhere it is admired," says Sadiq, a quiet 47-year-old with ambitious plans to expand his two-year-old, $30 million venture into a $100 million Afghan-born fruit behemoth.
Image: Mustafa Sadiq, owner of Omaid Bahar Processing Facility and Tom Vilsack, the US secretary of agriculture, at the Omaid Bahar Processing Facility.
Text: Rob Taylor in Kabul, Reuters
Images Courtesy: Omaid Bahar