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Kandahar exports pomegranates worth $8.8m this season

Kandahar exports pomegranates worth $8.8m this season

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Mar 27, 2019 - 16:58

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Above 40,000 tonnes of pomegranates worth $8.8 million have been exported from southern Kandahar province to Pakistaninfo-icon and India, officials said on Wednesday.

Kandahar Chamber of Commerce and Industry deputy head Eng. Abdu Baqi Bina in an exclusive interview told Pajhwok Afghan News though there was drought last year, yet pomegranate production and export increased several times compared to the previous years.

He said gardens in Kandahar produced in total 150,000 tonnes of pomegranates and of them 41,000 tonnes worth $8.8 million were exported to Pakistan and India.

He said the remaining pomegranates were sent to other provinces and abroad without registration. The bulk of the produce was exported Pakistan and the least to India and the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

Bina said recently Afghanistaninfo-icon opened air corridors with a number of countries which he said was a great step towards boosting the country’s economy, but the export process through these corridors should be expedited.

He termed fresh fruit exports to neighboring Pakistan as important and said if this way was closed, then there was no alternate route.

Hopeful about the Lapis Lazuli route, he said the route was beneficial for the Afghan exports and Kandahar fruits could reach Central Asian countries and even Turkey and EU.

According to him, Afghanistan’s particularly Kandahar’s fruits owned natural test and color and therefore they have high demand in global markets.

He said if exports were started through the Lapis Lazuli way, farmers would pay special attention to their production’s quality.

He also expressed concern over the lack of cold storages and electricity to preserve fruits for a long time.

He said if the government constructed some cold storages, farmers would keep their fruits for good market.

Fresh Fruit Traders Union head Haji Nanai Agha told Pajhwok that every day from 35 to 40 vehicles carrying pomegranates entered Pakistan through the Spin Boldak district and then reached India.

He said this year traders did not face with any issues but previously Pakistan would sometimes shut the border crossings under different excuses.

Meanwhile, Haji Mohammad Zahir, who owns pomegranates garden in Arghandab district, expressed happiness over good production of pomegranates despite shortage of water this year. He urged the government to address the water shortage issue.

Sayed Hafizullah Sayedi, the provincial agricultureinfo-icon department head, said this year 150,000 tons of pomegranates were harvested compared to last year’s 125,000 tones.

He said in recent years pomegranate trees were cultivated on above 8,000 hectors of land by the Agriculture Department with people’s cooperation.

Currently, over 10,000 farmers were engaged in pomegranate gardens in the province, he added.

He said last year his department provided 1200.5 acres of land for establishment of pomegranate gardens.

pk/ma

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