The export of pine nuts recently declined by 95 percent, said Afghanistan pine nut traders union on Tuesday.
Yahya Khan Zadran, the union head, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the export of the dried fruit dropped by 95 percent due to lack of air corridors.
He said the price of pine nuts inside the country had decreased due to the decline in its export.
“Previously pine nuts were shipped to China where a kilogram of the dried fruit was sold for 25 to 35 dollars but now its rate hovers between 12 and 15 dollars in the country,” he added.
According to his information, in 1400 solar year, the pine nut harvest reached 17 tonnes and 15 tonnes were legally exported while 4000 tones of pine nuts were legally exported in 1399 solar year, show a big difference.
“We don’t have access to proper processing equipment inside the country and a very small quantity of pine nuts is exported to the US and Europe,” Zadran said, urging the government to make functional air corridors as soon as possible.
A resident of Paktia province, Hussain, who owns pine nut orchard, said the market of pine nuts had recently become lukewarm in the country.
He said previously pine nuts were exported to China and the dried fruit had good price but now the fruit was smuggled to Pakistan only.
Pine nuts trader Sahel Zazai told Pajhwok Afghan News that their trade had been massively affected in the absence of air corridors.
He said when the dried fruit was exported to China and other countries, it had a high price at local market. “Previously a kilogram of pine nuts was sold for 2500 afghanis compared to its current rate of 1300 afghanis.”
He said if the government did not find market for pine nuts, traders would face numerous problems.
On the other hand, acting head of the chamber of commerce Younis Momand told Pajhwok Afghan News that pine nuts were an important part of Afghanistan’s exports.
He also stressed the need to create a market for pine nut exports so that this important product of Afghanistan was not exported in the name of other countries.
Meanwhile, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Islamic Emirate on air corridors and exports, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the government was trying to reactivate air corridors for the export of domestic products.
It is worth mentioning that before the political change in the country, Afghan traders used to trade with many countries, but now the trade is limited to a few countries.