‘Govt never tried to find market for chilgoza pine’
SHARANA (Pajhwok): Traders dealing in chilgoza pine in southeastern Paktika province say the nuts yield remains unsold due to a lack of proper market and that chilgoza pine produced in Afghanistan is sold as Pakistani product in foreign countries.
Dur Mohammad, a resident of Sara Roza district, told Pajhwok Afghan News owners of chilgoza pine forests had no option but to sell the nuts at low rates due to a lack of essential market.
“Few days ago, I sold my chilgoza trees for 15 million afghanis to a trader who later sold the trees to a Pakistani buyer for 20 million afs.”
He said chilgoza produced in Afghanistan was exported to Pakistan from where the nuts were transferred to other countries in the name of Pakistani product.
Trader Maullim Hamdullah told Pajhwok Afghan News the government should find proper market for the nuts inside the country as soon as possible.
He said forests of chilgoza pine were found in various provinces, including Paktika, but the product after its export to Pakistan was transferred to other countries as Pakistani product.
Another trader, Juma Khan, said the government had paid no proper attention to the development of trade in Paktika over the past many years.
“Thick forests of chilgoza are found in Paktika’s Urgun, Gayan, Ziruk, Nika, Sara Roza, Barmal and other districts, but the government for being inefficient has never paid attention to its traders.”
He said the government should find market for chilgoza pine and establish cold storage facilities for other products in Paktika province.
Urgun district chief Mohammad Raza said Paktika traders faced with many problems and chilgoza pine produced in Afghanistan was exported from Pakistan to other countries as Pakistani product.
He said chilgoza traders had created an association in Paktika and the ministries concerned should extend them needed cooperation.
He said the association each year created job opportunities for thousands of people, including 400 women.
Paktika Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Department official Akbar Khan told Pajhwok Afghan News that chilgoza traders in the province were struggling with numerous problems.
He said his department was trying to provide traders facilities within the available resources.
Paktika province produced 2.5 tonnes of chilgoza pine each year, said Nasir Alamyar, the head of the chamber of commerce in the southeast.
He said chilgoza pine was taken to Pakistan through smuggling routes and after being processed in Pakistan, the nuts were exported to foreign countries.
Alamyar said they had held talks with Iranian traders about chilgoza pine produced in the southeast and the outcome of the talks would be known soon.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.