Pakistan does not have Jalghoza, a type of pine nuts only found in Afghanistan, but buys the produce from Afghans, then exports it to China under a Pakistani trade mark, local investors said.
According to the investors, more than 25,000 tons of Jalghoza is being brought to the Khost markets – in Afghanistan’s south which shares border with Pakistan. According to the investors, the only monopolized buyer of the product is Pakistanis.
They said Pakistan processes and packages the Jalghoza of Afghanistan and then sends it to China and earns hundreds of millions of dollars annually from this business.
“Every year, at least 30,000 tons of Jalghoza is being brought here (to Khost province). A big part of it is sold to Pakistan and then, after processing and packaging, lands in Chinese markets as a Pakistani product,” said Wali Jan, an investor in Khost.
The investors said Pakistan buys each kilogram of Jalghoza for $8 USD but it sells it to China for more than $30 USD per kilogram.
“We urge the president (Ashraf Ghani) to solve our problem and prepare the ground for exports of Afghanistan’s Jalghoza to China markets,” said Norzad Ali, member of Jalghoza Exporters Union. “Currently Pakistan gets the most benefit from Afghan Jalghoza.”
The reason is the lack of a license for the approval of the quality of the Afghan Jalghoza – which has hampered the businessmen in sending it directly to China.
Figures released by the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) reveal that at least 1,500 tons of Jalghoza is exported every year.
The ACCI figures also show that a big part of Afghanistan’s Jalghoza is being smuggled to Pakistan.
ACCI officials said the Afghan government has not been able to provide the ground for the export of Jalghoza to China markets.
“Thousands of tons of Jalghoza is produced annually in the country but our official export is very low against our annual production of the nuts,” the ACCI deputy chief Yunus Mohmand told TOLOnews.
China is the biggest buyer of Jalghoza in the world. Along with Mexico and a number of Central Asian countries, Pakistan is the biggest exporter of Jalghoza in the world, figures show.