Pajhwok Afghan News

Fresh, dried fruits worth $331m exported from Kandahar

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): At least 124,500 tonnes of dried and fresh fruits worth $331,455,000 were exported abroad from southern Kandahar province this year — 40 percent up compared to the previous year.

Eng. Abdul Baqi Bena, deputy director of chamber of commerce in Kandahar, told Pajhwok Afghan News in an interview that despite high quality, Kandahar fruit export volume in 1400 solar year was low.

“In 1400 solar year, 124,500 tonnes of fresh and dried fruits were exported to foreign which worth 331,455,000 dollar. In 1399 solar year, 166,140 tonnes exported and it worth 236,336,900 dollar.”

He said they witnessed a 40 percent increase in the export of fresh and dried fruits this year compared to previous one.

He added the fruits exported included grapes, pomegranates, other fresh fruits in addition to dried fruit and herbals and vegetables.

He said the exports happened to European and Arabic countries but most to Pakistan and India. Bena said the production was not that good last year due to fighting.

Referring to the export to Pakistan, he said, the country used to close crossing points under various pretexts against the export of fresh and dried fruits and it affected businessmen.

He said he had repeatedly talked to senior Afghan and Pakistani officials on behalf of Kandahar traders and urged the Pakistani side not to create problems on the Duran Line during fruit harvest season.

Mirwais, a fresh fruit trader, told Pajhwok: “Some of the problems in the export sector had been solved, but some new problems have arisen, like banking restrictions, we can’t get much money out of the bank and another problem is visas which are not easy to get.”

In terms of exports, there is a lot of reliance on Pakistan, he said: “Most goods are exported to Pakistan or to other countries through Pakistan and Iran, but Pakistan often creates problems for Afghan traders.

Mohammad Reza, a dried fruit trader, said Pakistan had always created problems for Afghan traders and forced them to bear heavy losses.

“Pakistan has often pursued a two-pronged policy with us, when the fruit season arrives, they close the roads and even if they are open, they delay the vehicles for days and hurt the Afghan traders,” he added.


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