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Govt must find more markets for pine nuts: Traders

2 Oct 2022 - 16:32
2 Oct 2022 - 16:32

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Pine nut traders in southeastern Khost province say they would suffer losses like last year if the government doesn’t explore other markets in addition to China.

Mohammad Rahman, a trader of pine nuts in Spera district, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had bought the dry fruit worth seven million Pakistani rupees this year.

He said last year they could not sell all their pine nuts due to lack of facilities to export the nuts to foreign markets. He warned they would again suffer huge losses if last year’s scenario was repeated.

Pine nuts harvested in forests in southeastern provinces are transferred to Khost province in the fall season because the weather here is relatively hot.

Last year about 25,000 tones of pine nuts were harvested from the forests of Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces.

Haji Alam Jan, a businessman, said: “We used to have problems and the pine nuts were only exported to Pakistan. Our products must be banned from exporting to Pakistan and should be exported o other countries so that Afghanistan can obtain benefit.”

Hundreds of poor people also get the opportunity to earn a living by collecting pine nuts from trees and shifting the pine nuts to an open ground in front of the Khost administrative complex. They also use empty cones as firewood in winter.

Meanwhile, head of the pine nuts traders’ union, Shahzada told Pajhwok their estimates showed only 15,000 tons of pine nuts might be collected from the forests of Khost, Paktia and Paktika this year.

He said although pine nuts had not yet been fully harvested, the price a 25-kilogram of pine nuts was 100,000 afghanis.

Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, director of information and culture, said last year the government entered an agreement with China in the field of pine nuts and thousands of tons of the dry fruit were exported.

He said some traders who wanted to make huge profit did not sell their pine nuts on time and were currently facing losses.

He said the government must find other markets in addition to China for pine nuts.

sa/ma

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