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    Afghans to showcase farm products at Dubai fair

    KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan is showcasing its farm products, ranging from pomegranates and apples to nuts and saffron, at an exhibition in Dubai in an effort to seal business deals and boost international recognition of its produce, the agriculture minister said on Sunday.

    The Gulfood 2011 Exhibition, which began on Sunday and will run until March 2 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, is the Middle East's largest business event for the food industry. It brings together thousands of buyers, suppliers, restaurateurs and food enthusiasts from around the world.

    "The Afghan delegation will consist of 30 suppliers of fresh produce, dried fruit, nuts, jams, pickles, juice concentrate, honey, tomato paste and saffron. Seven of the 30 Afghan companies are women's groups that are producing and marketing fresh produce and processed food products," the minister said in a statement.

    Mohammad Asif Rahimi added the Afghan companies would display their products and participate in meetings with international participants. "Consumers in the UAE, the Middle East and beyond show demand for Afghan produce …" he said, characterising the event as one of the world's most important trade fairs.

    Last year's exhibition resulted in several business deals, including one between the Nejabat Haidari Ltd. and Supreme Group -- a Dutch food services company. Nejabat Haidari has an annual contract worth more than $1 million for provide Supreme Group with fresh fruit and vegetables.