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Kunduz dried fruit business picking up

Kunduz dried fruit business picking up

Oct 21, 2014 - 15:27

KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Dried fruit exports from northern Kunduz province have fallen, but the business has started picking up after the new government’s installation, officials said on Tuesday.

Dried Fruit Association officials said the election deadlock, lack of cold houses and a reduction in yield were the main causes that previously affected exports.

Khair Mohammad, the association chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had exported about 10,000 tonnes of dried fruit last year.

In 2014, the exports plummeted to only 1,000 tonnes. He said Kunduz fruits were exported to Turkey, Dubai and India in the past.

But this year, they were sent only to Kabul, Balkh, Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan and some other provinces of the country.

“You know, trade affairs have been complicated by a variety of factors, including the election stalemate,” Mohammad remarked. But the situation is now on the mend.

On the other hand, traders complain about lack of cold storage, standard packages and the absence of a proper transportation system. They claimed loosing tonnes of fruits every year due to the absence of facilities.

One fruit merchant, Syed Aliullah, said there was only a small market in Kunduz City. “I have lost some 490 kilograms of dried fruit due to lack of storage facilities.”

Aliullah asked the government to take urgent steps, including construction of cold storages, for promoting all national products.

Another trader, Abdul Ghani, confirmed almonds were damaged by the cold weather and they could not export this year.

Kunduz officials said almond trees had been seriously damaged in the province and the price of the fruit had subsequently doubled.

Kunduz almonds -- known for their quality -- are exported to Pakistan, Iran, India, Tajikistan and America.

Provincial chamber of commerce and industries officials say they have been trying to divert government’s attention and foreign aid to the agriculture sector.