Bumper pine-nuts yield in Paktia but low price
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Some residents of southeastern Paktia province say they are happy over a bumper pine nuts production this season, but are worried about a lack of market for the dried fruit to earn desired income.
Paktia is widely-known for producing high quality pine nuts locally called chilgoza pine (Pinus gerardiana). Pine trees cover mountains in Zazi Aryub, Samkani, Jani Khel and Dand-i-Patan districts.
Mamor Jan Mangal, a resident of Jani Khel district, said he sold seven kilograms of pine nuts to Pakistani businessmen for 5,000 rupees. He said the Pakistani traders would sell the same product in China and other countries as Pakistani product after processing in Bannu district.
“If we established such processing factory inside Afghanistan our products would go abroad with Afghan label and we would earn more money and popularity,” he said.
Mohammadi Khan, a resident of Samkani district, said the production was satisfactory this year, but there was no market to fetch good money to local growers.
He lamented that Pakistani businessmen purchased seven kilograms of pine nuts for just 5,000 rupees and sold the same for 12,000 afghanis to international clients.
Naseer AlamYar, head of Paktia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said pine nuts worth 50 million afghanis were illegally sold to businessmen in border areas of the province.
He acknowledged pine nuts produced in Paktia were being exported abroad as Pakistani product.
Besides pine nuts, apples and walnuts production has also increased in Paktia, but farmers complain about lack of proper marketing for their produce.
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