Long delays at the Afghan-Pakistan border are leading to huge volumes of fruit going to waste before it can be exported, according to a report by the Financial Times. Dried and fresh fruits, including grapes and figs, are Afghanistan’s biggest legal export, with Pakistan and India together absorbing 80% of the country’s fruit and nut exports.
Jalalurahman, owner of Kandahar-based Era Fruits, told the FT that his latest consignment of lorries, carrying figs and raisins destined for India, took eight days to cross the Wesh-Chaman border to Pakistan, compared with the usual two hours.
Kabul-based grape and melon exporter Ahmad Zobair Amiri told the FT that domestic prices had been cut in half due to the economic crisis, while a lack of cold storage facilities meant fruit could not be kept fresh during delays at the congested Torkham border crossing into Pakistan.
“Lots of our goods were destroyed by the sun because they were parked for a long time in containers. They melted away.”