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The Killid Group

Double trade on Afghan agriculture products

Written by Esmatullah Mayar
Monday, 02 April 2012 10:28

Double trade on Afghan agriculture products Lack of cold-rooms for agriculture products in Afghanistan not only results in the loss of significant quantities of products but an expensive trade back from Pakistan, farmers and officials tell Killid.
Several traders interviewed for this report said they exported fresh fruits and vegetables to Pakistan in summer and early autumn only to re-import them in winter and early spring for higher prices.
‘In summers, fruits and vegetables are abundant and most are exported to Pakistan where they are stored in cold-rooms,” said Nek Mohammad, a fresh fruit vendor in Kabul. “In winters, when we face shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables, traders import the same products albeit in significantly higher prices,” he said.
Shafiaullah, another fruit vendor at Ahmad Shah Baba Mina market in Kabul, had similar concerns: “In summers, the fruits are very cheap as farmers cannot keep them and want to sell at whatever price, so traders buy and export them to Pakistan.” He gave cucumber as an example: “In summer a kilo of cucumber is about 10 Afghanis while in winter the price goes up to 40-80 Afghanis.” “We sold 7 kilos of domestic apples for 200 Afghanis in the summer but we purchase the same amount for over 1,100 Afghanis in the winter,” said Haji Moharam, a fresh and dry fruits vendor in Kabul city. Moharam also said that prices of tomatoes go up by 75 percent from summer to winter. 
Most of the vendors said that Afghan and Pakistani traders were making high benefits due to lack of a functioning food industrial system in the country.

Consumers hit hardest
While traders might be reaping high benefits from expensive fruits and vegetables, the burden is disproportionately put on low income consumers.
“For God sake,” exclaimed Haji Abdullah, an elderly man who wanted to buy tomatoes, “I cannot afford buying them because they are more expensive than my entire day income.”
Some accuse the government of not doing enough either to invest itself in the food processing industry or attract private investment to bolster the sector. 
“If only we have some cold-rooms in the country to store essential agriculture products, we not only would not face shortage of food in certain seasons but could also control prices,” said Mohammad Eqbal Niazi, an expert of macro-economics.
However, officials at the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MCI) cited other problems which have inhibited the establishment of cold-rooms for agriculture products.
“Electricity is a major impediment which impedes the development of food industries,” Ghulam Rabani Haqiqatpal, an official from the MCI, told Killid.
?Jan Khan Alekozai, deputy chairman of the Chambers of Commerce, said investors were unwilling to invest in the food industry due to a lack of support from the government.
“50-60 percent of Afghanistan’s fruit products are exported abroad in cheap prices because farmers cannot store their products,” said Alekozai adding that the practice was damaging the Afghan economy.  
Over 119,000 hectares of land in Afghanistan is covered by fruit-bearing trees and orchards and every year vegetable is grown on over 11,400 hectares of land across the country, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). Afghanistan exported more than 35,000 tons of fresh fruits and over 72,000 tons of vegetables last year, MAIL said.

Annual fruit & vegetable productions in Afghanistan

Type of fruit    Quantity
Grapes              492,000 Tones   
Apple                62,000 Tones   
Pear                 1,000 Tones   
Apricot             49,000 Tones    
Pomegranates    58,000 Tones   
Almond             8,220 Tones   
Peach               1,4000 Tones   
Orange             6,000 Tones    
Citrus               1,200 Tones   
Olive                6,600 tones   
Total                698,020 Tones    

Type of vegetables  Quantity
Potatoes                   205,000 Tones     
Onion                       78,000 Tones     
Carrot                       31,000 Tones
Other Vegetables       79,000 Tones        
Total                        393,000 Tones

Comments (3)

  • Monday, 07 May 2012 05:17 | aahmed41
    Radio Azadi 20/4/2012 says : ( an extract :: read the full article) " __پاکستان همواره در برابر افغانستان برخورد سلیقه یی داشته است چاپ ایمل شریک ساختن: خان جان الکوزی معاون اتاق تجارت و صنایع افغانستان اندازهء حروف 31.01.1391 در نتیجهء مشکلاتی که تاجران افغان با آن در پاکستان مواجه اند، به گفتهء مقامات اتاق تجارت و صنایع افغانستان، سالانه حدود 700 میلیون دالر به تاجران افغان صدمهء اقتصادی وارد می شود. اتاق تجارت و صنایع افغانستان با انتقاد شدید از پاکستان می گوید، که این کشور به بهانه های مختلف تلاش می نماید تا برای تاجران افغان موانع و مشکلات ایجاد کند. خان جان الکوزی معاون اتاق تجارت و صنایع افغانستان به روز پنجشنبه در صبحت با رادیو آزادی گفت، پاکستان همواره در برابر افغانستان برخورد سلیقه یی داشته و هیچ وقت به تعهدات اش در قبال افغانستان عمل نکرده است. «در ارتباط ترانزیت با پاکستان یک سلسله مشکلات تخنیکی وجود دارد اما ما باید جلسه اپتیکا را دایر نماییم که در آن مشکلات تخنیکی حل شود پول تضمینی که ما می دهیم دوباره داده نمی شود، همین طور مال های ما در راه مفقود می شود که تا کنون تقریباً 13 الی 17 کانتینر مفقود شده سرنوشت آنها معلوم نشده، صادرات ما تا کنون توسط ترانسپورت افغان ها به واگه و کراچی نمی رود ما از جلسه اپتیکا تقاضا می نمایم، مگر حکومت پاکستان تا کنون از دایر نمودن این جلسه خود داری می نماید ما در هر سال 500 الی 700 میلیون دالر جزیه بخاطر راه ترانیزیت به کشور های همسایه می دهیم که این پول از ما اضافه گرفته می شود.» ------etc !!!!

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