Afghanis report huge fruit wastage

Thu 28/10/2021
Fruits and salad in a bin. Copyright: Ralf, Adobe Stock

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.

Amiri said:

“Lots of our goods were destroyed by the sun because they were parked for a long time in containers. They melted away.”

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