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Fruit traders seek access to world’s markets

Fruit traders seek access to world’s markets

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Jul 19, 2017 - 00:35

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Fruit traders in capital Kabul on Tuesday attended a protest gathering against what they called ‘lack of access’ to international markets for their products.

Dozens of traders and civil societyinfo-icon activists took part in the gathering held at the Fruits Bazaar in 4th municipal district’s limits.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Traders’ National Union head, Akhtar Mohammad Ahmadi, told reporters on the sidelines of the gathering: “This year, most of the fresh fruit got rotten either at warehouses or at fields due to lack of market for them on national and international levels.”

“Everyone buys fresh fruits, but our farmers sold them at meager prices inside the country and often incur losses.”

As an example, Ahmad said currently the price of 7kg of water melons hovered between 30afs and 50afs and the same amount of melons between 50afs and 70afs.

Keeping in view transport fares, municipality taxes and labor cost, farmers ended up in debt, he said, adding currently a limited amount of Afghanistaninfo-icon’s fresh fruits were exported to India, Qatar, the UAE, and Pakistaninfo-icon.

Ahmadi asked the Afghan government to come up with a long-term plan for supporting domestic products and preventing imports of identical foreign products; otherwise, gardeners and traders would witness more losses.

Rahmuddin Haji Aqa, Chairman of the National Board of Entrepreneurs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI), said Afghanistan’s fresh fruits were of high quality and taste and the Afghan government should support them.

“The government should prevent similar fruits from being imported here or impose heavy taxes on them in order to ensure our gardeners and traders avoid losses.”

Haji Aqa urged the government to make bound its institutions to meet their needs by using domestic products.

Abdul Naseer Rishtinyar, in-charge of Afghanistan Watani Bazaar (AWB), a campaign on the internet supporting domestic products, said they were all set to launch the fresh fruits supporting drive next week.

He asked all the Afghans to use domestic products in order farmers and gardeners were encouraged.

Ending their protest gathering, the participants issued a resolution letter that asked the government to provide all possible support to local products and take serious and practical steps in this regard.

Meanwhile, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry said the government was trying to expand imports and exports via the recently initiated Afghanistan-India air corridor.

Accusing Pakistan of creating hurdles for Afghanistan’s exports at different times, he said his ministry valued ideas of traders regarding improvement of the market.

Fruit traders could submit their suggestions with regard to imposing higher duty and taxes on similar foreign fruits imports to Afghanistan to the relevant special committee at the MoCI in order measures be taken for their implementation.

sns/ma

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