Gardeners in Kandahar province claimed that a large portion of the pomegranate harvest rotted this year as Wesh-Chaman and Spin Boldak borders crossing are closed.
Mohammadullah, a gardener in Arghistan district of Kandahar, said that gardeners had prepared pomegranates to be exported, but tons of the pomegranates were ruined in orchards across the district.
“Hundreds tons of pomegranate rotted in orchards. This is a bad situation for gardeners, the government has to remove the challenge,” Muhammadullah said.
“our pomegranate is destroying every day. There should be markets for our harvests and Chaman crossing must be opened,” said gardener Agha Jan.
Gardeners warned that they will suffer the loss of millions of Afghanis if the crossings remain closed.
A number of fruit exporters said although they export pomegranates to Pakistan through Torkham border this way is too far. “Exporting through Torkham takes 15 days while a it takes 3 days to export via Chaman and Spin Boldak borders," Mohammad said.
In the meantime, the Afghanistan Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock said the problem of border crossings repeats every year, especially at the time when fruit and vegetables are harvested.
“Every year we have problems with Pakistan--border problems and sometimes increased tariffs. These are all excuses, and our fruit is ruined every year,” Mirwais Hajizada, a member of the chamber said.