The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) said steps are being taken to establish facilities to dry jujubes in order to increase the export volume of the fruit, which is also known as red dates.
MAIL stated that in the past year, 3,600 tons of jujubes have been harvested around the country, 100 tons more than the previous year.
According to the ministry, a draft plan for jujube processing plants has been sent to the High Economic Council for approval in order to increase the amount exported.
Jujubes are mostly grown is Farah province – in the west of Afghanistan – and are commonly known as Farah’s “red gold”.
Akbar Rustami, a MAIL spokesman, said farmers have so far this year earned almost two billion Afghanis from the sale of the dried fruit.
“The trade plan for Farah’s jujubes was sent to the High Economic Council last week so that we can process (the fruit) and send it abroad as we do with pine nuts,” said Rustami.
Depending on the quality, jujube’s sell in Kabul for between 400 and 800 AFs per kilogram and is a popular snack among local residents.
“We have different types of jujube. We bring it mostly from Farah and people are interested in buying the dried fruit,” said Lala Sherin, a shopkeeper in Kabul.
The Ministry of Agriculture said however the lack of processing centers for jujubes has resulted in the illegal trafficking of the dry fruit to neighboring countries.