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Loya Paktia traders seek market for pine nuts

Loya Paktia traders seek market for pine nuts

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Nov 28, 2016 - 19:08

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Despite having a unique reputation in the worldinfo-icon, Afghanistaninfo-icon dried fruits are sold at a very cheap price due to the absence of proper market, trader representatives in southeastern Khost province say.

However, pine nut traders say the price of Afghanistan pine nuts has significantly increased this year. Khost province alone exported pine nuts worth $77 million to Pakistaninfo-icon this year.

Official statistics show Loya Paktia encompassing Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces exported around 10,000 tons of pine nuts to Pakistan last year, but the export amount decreased by a half this year due to limited rainfalls.

A resident of Khost province, Rahmat Gul, said: “Pine nut trees need water like humans. The trees produce more when there is enough snow and rain.”

More than 3,500 tons of pine nuts were exported from Khost to Pakistan this year. Averagely, the price of one ton of the fruit cost $22 and the overall revenue from the exports reached $77 million in Khost.

The nuts after exported to Pakistan where the fruits are packaged and processed before being exported to the world market with Pakistani trademarks, a trader, Jan Mohammad said.

“Our revenue would further increase if we have facilities for pine nuts here in Khost,” he added.

People bring pine nut cones from southeastern provinces to Khost because sunny weather in Khost helps the cones dry well faster.

Pine nut harvest collection enables poor people to have firewood to keep their homes warm in wanter. People work with owners of pine nut jungles and collect firewood of trees and take that home in exchange for their daily wage.

A pine nut trader, Rafiullah, said, “We transport nuts from here to Wana (in Pakistan) and then to Lahore city of Pakistan. Chinese and Pakistani traders then transport the nuts to China.”

Experts believe if all Afghanistan’s exports legally reached the world market, it would help traders improve their income and positively impact Afghanistan economy.

Khost chamber of commerce head, Nawab Amirzai, said the problem could be resolved if the government controlled the private sector.

“Exports could not be done the way that both the government and the private sector get advantages due to absence of needed facilities,” he said.

mds /ma

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