Few peanut processing facilities in Nangarhar
JALALABAD (PAN): Peanuts grown in the eastern province of Nangarhar are often processed in Pakistan and then sold back to traders in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, at high prices.
Malak, a peanut dealer at the Jalalabad peanut market, said that peanut traders there receive nearly 1,000 bags of peanuts from the Khogyani district of the province during the five-month peanut season.
He said the traders who can afford it send nuts to Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar, but that peanut dealers with less money sell their nuts at lower prices in Peshawar, Pakistan.
“We buy seven kilograms of peanuts for Rs 600 (330 afghanis) and sell the same amount for Rs 630, but the peanuts imported from Pakistan are being sold at Rs 1,000,” he said
“Pakistani traders bake the nuts properly, but we don’t do this, because the nuts weigh less after being baked,” he said, explaining why Pakistani peanuts fetch higher prices than locally grown peanuts.
Nearly 100 trucks of peanuts reach Pakistan each year from Nangarhar. The nuts are then exported to India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other countries from Pakistan.
Besides Nangarhar, local traders receive peanuts from neighbouring Kunar and Laghman provinces, but they do not have storage facilities, said Gul, another trader.
“We have no equipment or storage space, but when we try to sell the nuts in Pakistan, we get low prices, which deeply affects our business,” he added.
If the government or any non-governmental organisation would give him a loan, he would never sell the peanuts in Pakistan, he said.
A resident of the Waziro area of Khogyani district, Mohammad Ayub, who brings nuts to the Jalalabad market, said that growing peanuts is more profitable than poppy cultivation.
“A half acre of land produces 560 kilograms of peanuts,” he added.
The provincial head of chamber of commerce, Mohammad Qasim Yousufi, no one had told them about the problem. He said they would convince traders to establish baking facilities.
“Some districts of the province produce a large amount of peanuts. The traders can’t process all of them, so they are sent to Pakistan for baking. After being processed, the nuts are imported back to Afghanistan or sent to other countries as Pakistani nuts,” he said.
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