Afghanistan’s exports to India have doubled since 2016. The total value of goods traded reached $460 million in 2019. Jan Aqa Naweed, spokesman for the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI), stated: “In total, in 2019, our exports to the world reached $1 billion and $460 million of it was to India.”
The upward trend had been continuing over the past three years, resulting in India becoming a significant market for Afghan goods. Among the most in-demand products were dry and fresh fruits including pine nuts, figs, melons, pomegranates, herbs, and grapes.
The majority of goods, especially fresh produce, was shipped by air from Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat to New Delhi. Over the years, Herat province, which is one of Afghanistan’s largest regions and located in the southwest of the country, has become renowned nationally and globally for its high-quality products, especially fruits and saffron.
Deputy head of the ACCI, Khan Jan Alokozai, said that many farmers in the southern and southwestern regions had switched from growing poppies to cultivating Afghan saffron, with each kilogram of the “red gold” – considered one of the best in the world – selling for as much as $4,000 in some European markets, in addition to being one of Afghanistan’s major global exports last year.
As reported on arabnews.com, the country is also famous for its pine nuts, a kilogram of which is worth nearly $50 in local markets.