Lack of export opportunities and a drop in local prices

Afghan farmers see high fruit yield, but profits remain low

Despite a 40% increase in produce, fruit farmers from around the country interviewed by TOLOnews said there is a decrease in fresh fruit prices. Farmers in Kandahar, a province famous for its pomegranates, said that growers on average earned up to Afs1.5 million ($63,000) last year, while their income was reduced to Afs2.5 million ($31,000) this year.

Farmers said that large quantities of Afghan fresh fruit normally sent to Pakistan and other regional countries were not exported this year due to problems with transportation. The glut of local produce, according to farmers, has reduced the fruit prices in the local market.

In central provinces like Parwanand Kapisa—famous for apples and grapes—farmers said that in some cases they could not cover their expenses by selling their product. “Farmers hoped that the government would help them send their products to other countries and do marketing for them, but it did not happen,” said Daud Shah, a farmer from Kandahar. “Last year, farmers earned more than eight million (Afghanis) from selling apples, while they earned 2.5 million or four million (Afghanis) this year. They have suffered losses,” said Zmarai, a farmer from Kandahar.

Fruit sellers in Kabul said the prices of imported fruit is much higher than locally-grown fruit. “The fruit prices will be reduced further every year if the situation continues because we do not have export markets,” said Mirwais, a fruit seller in Kabul.

“Seven kilograms of apples was Afs300 ($3.8) last year while it is down to Afs100 ($1.2) this year,” saidMayil, a fruit seller in Kabul.

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