Kandahar exports 150,000 tonnes of fresh, dried fruits
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): The southern Kandahar province has exported about 150,000 tonnes of fresh and dried fruit to different countries, the chamber of commerce officials said on Monday.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, provincial chamber director Haji Nasrullah Zaheer said exports of fresh fruit had stopped but dried fruit continued to be sent abroad.
He said that Kandahar had earned $63 million from exporting 24,057 tonnes of dried fruit and $3.3 million from exports of 17,142 tonnes of fresh fruit in the current solar year that ends on March 21.
Dried fruit exports included different types of raisins, figs, almond, pine nuts and pistachio. The fresh fruit exports included pomegranate, grapes, melon, apples and apricot.
Zaheer added most of businessmen did not register their fruits with the chamber of commerce. “Most of fruits are produced in districts and traders try to export them immediately.”
Next year, all traders will have to register the fruits they export. He said 150,000 tonnes of registered and unregistered fresh and dried fruits had been exported from Kandahar this year, mostly to India through Pakistan and Dubai.
Zaheer said currently 25 companies producing packages were active across the country. But the problem is that the packages have the flags of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
One big problem for traders is lack of a proper transportation system -- an issue that has been paid little attention over the years. “Traders face problems getting visas and airlifting of exports due to lack of Afghan airplanes.”
He blamed the government for failing to put in place a reliable transportation system and find off-shore markets for Afghan fruit products.
“Afghanistan’s embassies abroad are duty-bound to help traders find market for their products, but we have seen no cooperation in this regard.”
Zaheer requested the newly-formed cabinet to solve their problems and find market for Afghan products.
A fresh fruit trader, Haji Abdul Ahad, said currently they relied on Pakistan for exporting their products. Most of the benefits of Afghan products go to Pakistani traders, who use their own trademarks on Afghan fruits.
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