Kandahar fruit exports up by 30pc
Local officials linked the increase to their skillful packaging and increasing fruit demand in foreign countries.
Kandahar Chamber of Commerce deputy head Eng. Abdul Baqi Beena told Pajhwok Afghan News the increase in exports of the fruits from Kandahar came amid many challenges.
He said the exports stood at 46 tonnes worth $56 million last year and recorded at 53 tonnes worth $59 million over the past nine months.
He said the exports showed a 30 percent increase despite three months remained in the fiscal year to end.
Beena said the bulk of dried and fresh fruits were exported to India and Pakistan.
He also said more than 5000 tonnes of onions with a total of value of $2 million were exported to India for the first time this solar year.
The onions were grown on a high scale in Dand, Arghandab, Zheri and Panjwai districts and the yield was satisfactory, he added.
Beena complained Afghan traders continued to face problems in Pakistan, including the closure of border crossings.
He also said Afghan traders lacked air-conditioned vehicles to keep fresh fruits from going rotten during their export.
He cited the absence of cargo planes another problem facing Afghan traders, saying Afghanistan’s dried fruits had a good market value in European countries and the US.
The trader representative said they had tried their best to hire services of a cargo company for airlifting Afghan products to foreign countries, but failed.
Meanwhile, traders asked the government to resolve problems being faced by them.
A fresh fruit trader, Haji Faizullah, said all Afghan traders relied on Pakistani routes for exporting their goods to foreign countries and Islamabad always created problems for them.
He said Pakistan often used to close the border crossings despite the fact the country benefited more from Afghan products compared to Afghan traders themselves.
He said Pakistan sold in foreign market Afghan products in the name of its own products.
The trader said a recent visit by President Karzai to Iran raised the hope that the neighbouring country would allow Afghan traders to use the Chabahar seaport for exporting their goods to India and other countries.
Beena also said the Chabahar port would benefit Afghan traders, but lamented the subject had long been discussed verbally and nothing practically had happened in this regard.
He said if Afghan traders were allowed to use the seaport, it would enabled them to export in a huge quantity fresh and dried fruits to India and bring along other commercial goods from that country.
Despite problems, exports of fresh and dried fruits have consistently increased from Kandahar.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.