Project IT'sAf™ 2024

Connecting Afghan artisans and small farmers to international markets!

Through the ITsAf project, I take concrete actions to connect Afghan artisans and small farmers who are unable to access international markets independently. My goal is to sustainably increase the incomes of these Afghan artisans and farmers and improve the quality of life of their communities, helping their micro-businesses to expand, and also involving Afghan citizens who have immigrated to the buyers' countries, thus giving them the opportunity to participate in the project as my agents. The main farmers' products will be dried fruit & nuts. My Afghan staff carefully selects the best products, which are then exported to the Emirates where they are packaged in full compliance with the basic requirements established by the regulations of the EU and other non-EU countries in which they will be sold. They will be sold on consignment in Italy and other countries (Brazil, Mongolia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Canton Ticino of Switzerland to name a few) in supermarkets and online shops, while the artisanal 'non-food' products (also sold on consignment) will only be exported to Italy and other EU countries. As part of the ITsAf project, I will mainly be involved in the trade of figs, apricots, raisins, almonds and pine nuts. And for food products such as concentrated pomegranate juice, mountain honey and saffron, I will provide the import/export services listed on the 'Services' page of this site. While the "non-food" artisan products will mainly be hand-woven carpets, leather goods such as bags, clothing accessories such as scarves and traditional Afghan clothing (especially women's clothes), which are attracting some interest in several of the countries involved in the project. All profits from the project will be reinvested in increasing the production capacity of small Afghan farmers. Italian equipment and machinery for drying and packaging fruit (and vegetables) will be bought and given to rural Afghan communities. This will improve exports to neighbouring countries such as India, Pakistan and Turkmenistan.

My network has nothing to do with politics or geopolitics and the red circles on the map below represent only the regions where I have friends or relatives who will monitor the retailers to whom the goods have been supplied on consignment.

Many people in the past, when I worked in Afghanistan before cancer and disability changed my life, asked me why I wasn't a nonprofit. Well, I believe that many will ask me the same question regarding the implementation of the ITsAf project, and therefore, in order to avoid misunderstandings, I would like to answer in advance: I believe in sustainable solutions to get out of poverty and that's why I focus on being self-sustainable and don't want to depend on donations and grants and I decided not to be an NGO or a charity. As the owner of a sole proprietorship, I can take a number of entrepreneurial actions to fuel my ideas, and I can make all the decisions about what to do with the profits and how to reinvest them into the social mission, which in this case is the implementation of the ITsAf project.