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Women in the dried fruits and nuts value chain

Women are heavily involved in the Afghan dried fruits and nuts value chain. At the production level, they are often responsible for watering, weeding, pruning and harvesting in smallholder orchards. At the postharvest level, women in rural areas are often responsible for drying grapes, sorting them – if this activity is carried out at all – and packing them in sacks. In urban areas where most processing facilities are located, women work as wage labourers, primarily at the sorting stage. Few women are involved in wholesaling and trading activities at the village level, as a result of the culturally conservative views about the role of women in commercial activities outside the home. Considering the critical role of women in drying, sorting and packaging dried fruits and nuts, tailored support services, preferably provided by other women, should be provided to them to improve the quality of outputs at the postharvest level.