Officials from the pine nuts producer union said that although this year the production of pine nuts has increased in the country, there is still no suitable market.
They said that due to the lack of exports through official routes, these nuts are currently being smuggled, to some extent, into Pakistan.
“If our export routes were open, the price of pine nuts would be much higher. We are optimistic that this problem will be resolved as soon as possible and that our export plans will not be disappointing,” said Yahya Zadran, head of the producers’ union.
While in recent years a large amount of pine nuts was transported to China through air corridors, officials of the union said these routes are closed this year. This will increase the level of smuggling of the product into Pakistan, the harvesters said.
Meanwhile, a number of pine nut exporters urged the Islamic Emirate to create markets for their products.
“Currently, Pakistan benefits the most from the pine nuts. We produce and harvest them, but Pakistan is gaining the profit. The government should do something about it,” said Sado Khan, a pine nut exporter.
“The problem of the pine nut market should be solved. China’s market is so important for Afghanistan’s pine nuts. Air corridors should be opened immediately,” said Mahbobullah Mohammadi, a merchant.
Earlier, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that efforts are underway to bring improvements in the export of pine nuts.
Currently, 1 kg pine nuts is $13 (1,100 Afn), while in Chinese markets its price increases two to three times.
According to estimates, Afghanistan's annual pine nut production reaches around $500 million.