Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Banana in Afghanistan

I was stunned today - by a banana!

Just after I had finished my breakfast in Kabul, I went across to the fruit counter and found three options - mandarins, apples and bananas. Of the options available the banana seemed the most 'user-friendly' - easier carry in your bag, to peel and eat.

Surprisingly, this particular variety looked perfectly ripe, but was not so easy to peel. Curious to know the variety I turned it around to find a sticker on one side. It said "Sabastiano Premium Eduador"!

Let that sink in. Here in Kabul, Afghanistan, I was holding in my hand one of the great wonders of global supply chain logistics. Here was a fruit grown by farmers on the opposite side of the globe in South America, transported across the seas and mountains, covering a distance of more than 15,000 km before it reached its destination - a DFAC dining hall.

While writing a blog in 2014, I had learnt that three companies - Chiquita, Dole and Del Monte - controlled more than 60 percent of global banana exports. 

In  tropical South Asia which is home to dozens of varieties of bananas available at much cheaper rates, it is a wonder how commercial logic enables agricultural products to travel insane distances!


* Banana production in Ecuador -

* DW (Jan., 2018) -

* Sharbatly Fruit -

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