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Afghan-India air corridor effective, economical: Traders

Afghan-India air corridor effective, economical: Traders

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Jul 05, 2017 - 00:14

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Fresh and dried fruits businessmen in southern Kandahr province say trade through the air corridor with India is “inexpensive” and “easy.”

The traders seek continuation of the air corridor between India and Afghanistaninfo-icon, but officials stress on the quality of packaging for promotion of the trade and market exploration.

Haji Aziz Ahmad, a businessman, told Pajhwok Afghan News that dried and fresh fruits traders were happy over the launch of the air corridor between India and Afghanistan and wanted its continuation.

He said frequent closure of the Spin Boldak border crossing with Pakistaninfo-icon was a huge issue that often harmed the export of Afghanistan fruits and other items.

Ahamdullah Faizi, in-charge of the Kandahar airport, said they had all facilities required for the export of fruits via the airport and their staff offered 24 hours services in this regard.

Governor Zalmai Wesa believed quality packaging of fruits was vital to exploring more markets for the Afghan products. He said Kandahar fruits were the best in terms of taste and quality, but more attention should be paid to standard packaging.

He acknowledged issues in standard packaging, transportation and security but said these problems should be mutually resolved by the government and traders.

The governor praised the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) for striving to strengthen the country’s economy.

Haji Mohammad Younis Momand, ACCI deputy head, said the launch of the Afghanistan-India Air Corridor was a great opportunity for expansion of Afghanistan exports.

He said an increased amount of fruits would be exported this air thanks to the air corridor which he said would also help explore more markets for Afghan fruits.

Saaduddin Saeed, in charge of packaging and processing sector, said last year they exported 200 tonnes of grapes to India and the UAE, where the grapes were sold in foreign markets at doubled price.

He said trade via the land rout was never economical and effective because trucks transferring fruits were had no freezers.

These trucks went through hot areas, affecting the quality of fruits, he said, adding the trucks were stopped art every checking point and the journey was time consuming.

Jalal Rahman, another fruit businessman, hailed the launch of the Afghanistan-India air corridor and termed it a huge success for Afghanistan exports.

He, however, said the export of fruits and other items from Kandahar was carried out in traditional manner and hoped modern system of packaging would be introduced after the launch of the air-corridor.

He said 20 cents were a reasonable price by which Afghan fruits and herbals could be exported to India though the air corridor.

He said export of fruits by land route took six days and one kilogram of fruits was accounted for 60 cents, but through the air corridor it took a few hours to reach India against 20 cents.

He said when the packaging of fruits was of substandard, it checking took much time. He said it was unfortunate that many traders had put the fruits in bags and had packaged them in a substandard way on the first cargo plane to India.

To a question about the export of grapes this season, he said they had cold storages at the airport with the capacity of storing 1244 tonnes of fruits.

nh/ma 

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