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Kandahar dried fruit, herbal exports up by 41pc

Kandahar dried fruit, herbal exports up by 41pc

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Dec 13, 2016 - 13:17

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Officials of the Afghanistaninfo-icon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on Tuesday claimed an increase in the export of dried fruit from southern Kandahar province.

They said quality production of dried fruit had driven up its demand in the international market. As a result, an upsurge in exports was witnessed this year, they added.

Abdul Baqi Beena, deputy head of ACCI, told Pajhwok Afghan News 13,853 tonnes of dried fruits worth $38,963 million were exported.

In addition, 9,696 tonnes of natural herbs accounting for more than $11 million were also sent to different foreign countries.

Fig, raisin, dried apricot and almond were the main dried fruits exported. He said most of Kandahar fruits and herbs were exported to India while a small amount was sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well.

He said according to statistics a 41 percent increase had been seen in the export of dried fruits in the current year. If the air cargo facility was provided, Afghan trader would be able to export products to European countries as well.

Beena called a recently inaugurated rail link with Central Asia vital to boosting Afghanistan’s exports. He said that most of Afghani products, especially dried and fresh fruits, had a good market in Arab countries but the problems was an absence of a transit route.

Iran offered a shorter route to reach Arab countries, he believed, asking the government to discuss on the matter and persuade Tehran to provide transit facilities to Afghan businessmen.

Dried fruit merchants are happy with the increased exports this year. One trader, Haji Aziz, told Pajhwok Afghan News the main issues included a high customs duty imposed by Pakistaninfo-icon and the closure of transit routes on one pretextor another.

He said currently most of the fruits were exported to Pakistan and India, which then sold them under their own brand namesand earned a lot of revenue.

He asked the government to facilitate easier exportsand enable traders to send fruits to Arab countries, Europe and America.

Another trader named Faizullah said the ACCI had repeatedly sought the air cargo facility. However, he added no foreign airline was ready to airlift Afghan fruits to international markets. 

He asked the government to address the issue, because the country’s exportswere lower than imports, a huge loss for economy.

Fresh fruits exports from Kandahar have also seen an uptick, especially pomegranates. ACCI officials estimate a 43 percent increase in the export of the fruit.

nh/sns

 

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