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Pine nuts direct export to China can earn $650m

Pine nuts direct export to China can earn $650m

Dec 26, 2017 - 17:20

KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan can earn up to $650 million from direct export of its pine nuts to China, but most of the dried fruit is currently smuggled to Pakistan and from there it is exported to China as ‘Pakistani product,’ the Meshrano Jirga was told on Tuesday.

Juma Din Giyanwal, a member of the Mesharano Jirga or Senate, told today’s session that pine nuts produced in southeastern Paktia, Paktika, Khost and eastern Nuristan, Laghman and Nangarhar provinces were smuggled to Pakistan and then exported to China after processing and packaging.

He said Afghanistan currently earned $70 million from pine nuts exports which if directly exported to China would increase the earning to hundreds of millions of dollars because the Afghan pin nut was sold at a very low price in Pakistan.

According to the agriculture and commerce ministries, Pakistan earns $1.2 million from the export of Afghan-grown pine nuts. Finance Minister Eklil Hakemi attended today session of the Mesharano Jirga, said Afghanistan could make $650 million from direct export of pine nuts if the dried fruit’s smuggling was prevented.

He added the government was committed to issuing loans to individuals who wanted to invest in pine nut business.

He added the Afghan diplomatic mission in Beijing had collected all necessary documents required for export of Afghanistan pine nuts to China and had dispatched those documents to the Agriculture Ministry.

The Agriculture Ministry also shared those documents with the government. Hakemi added the government strived to increase revenues in order to accumulate resources for the country’s budget.

“For this purpose, the government has started work on some revenue generating sources,” said the finance minister whose ministry allocated 267 billion afghanis as general and over 90 billion as development budget for the ongoing fiscal year.

According to the ministry, over 47 percent of the total budget was supported by local revenues and the remaining by foreign aid.