Officials have said that additional air freight routes are being sought that could include Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Fruit Exports Increase As New Air Corridors Sought
The Office of the Senior Advisor to the President in Banking and Finance on Saturday said that currently much of Afghanistan’s fresh fruit, especially apricots, watermelon and apples, are being exported to India via the Kabul-Delhi air corridor.
Fresh fruit exporters also said that sales of Afghanistan’s fresh fruit has definitely increased on both the domestic and foreign market.
After the successful launch of the first Indian air cargo route in June last year to New Delhi a second route was launched a few months later – from Kandahar.
Now officials are investigating the possibility of expanding this to include other markets such as Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Turkey, said Sameer Rasa, the Head of the Public Relations Office of the Senior Advisor to the President in Banking and Finance.
According to Rasa, India is still the largest market for Afghanistan’s fresh fruit.
He said that a new shipment of fresh fruit containing 15 tons of apples, apricots, melons, watermelons and pomegranates left the country for India on Friday.
“The next cargo flight will carry over 36 tons of commercial products mainly fresh fruit and is expected to depart from Kandahar airport for Delhi this week. This will be our 137th cargo flight to India. We also plan to export another 100 tons to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kazakhstan during the current week,” said Rasa.
- air corridors have boosted export volume of Afghanistan fruit, traders say that the sector still faces serious problems in terms of getting the produce out of the country overland.
- are grappling with problems on the land routes, especially at Torkham crossing. They stop the fresh fruit convoys for a long period. You know that fresh fruit rots quickly. We have discussed the issue with the deputy head of customs and revenues,” said Akhtar Mohammad, the head of the fresh fruit exporters union.
Meanwhile, a number of fruit sellers have said they are hoping the sector’s revenue will increase this year.
“You know that our fruit season has arrived, grapes are coming, but apricot season is ending, a lot were exported to Pakistan; God willing, there will be some improvement,” said one fresh fruit seller Mohammad Saber.
Based on government statistics, over 2,600 tons of fresh fruit worth $56 million has so far have been exported to foreign markets via the newly established air corridors.