Afghanistan has exported 255 tons of fresh fruit so far this year to India, Europe and some Arab nations, making 30 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Samir Rasa, said on Saturday.
He said that the exports have increased after the inauguration of the air corridors between Afghanistan and India, UAE, China and Turkey.
Apple, pomegranate, melon, watermelon and grapes are the main fresh fruits which are exported to India, China, UAE and some European countries.
“The highest level of fresh fruit exports is to India which is about 189 tons,” Rasa said. “At least 63 tons of fresh fruit was exported to Arab countries and the remaining was sent to European countries.”
Mr. Rasa said that the ministry eyes more increase in the exports by the end of the year.
Lack of modern facilities at Afghanistan’s airports and ports, including cold storage facilities and required scanners, is a major challenge for Afghan investors, an official of Afghanistan Chamber Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said.
“India is checking all our goods in all their ports and they unload all the goods and tear the packages. This damages our goods,” the ACCI acting chief, Khanjan Alokozay, said.
Fresh fruit exporters said Afghan investors need ground routes for sending their goods besides sending them through the newly-established air corridors.
“We urge the government to establish air corridor with Moscow and Kazakhstan,” said Nejabat Haidari, member of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Exporters Union.
Figures by Ministry of Industry and Commerce indicate that at least 7,400 tons of Afghan goods worth $170 million have been exported to India, some European countries and the UAE through air corridors over the past two years.