Abdullah Abdullah has called for relevant government departments to help improve the pine nut sector in the country.
Pine Nut Union Formed Amid Ongoing Challenges
The Afghanistan Pine Nut Union was inaugurated at a ceremony in Kabul on Tuesday with the aim of overcoming challenges faced by investors and farmers in the sector.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said at the event that although such initiatives appear minor, they “will help practically improve people’s lives and the economy”.
“Afghanistan has a large capacity for agriculture. Investment in the country’s agricultural products is an important step and investors should pay serious attention to this sector,” he said. “The most important consequence of such initiatives is an increase in products and exports and the financial gains for farmers.”
At the same event, Khan Jan Alokozay, acting head of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said there are still some challenges facing investors.
“Despite government leaders having always supported the private sector, there are still problems for investors and businessmen and they need further support,” Alokozay said.
He said Afghanistan’s pine nuts are a cheaper export compared to the pine nuts exported by Pakistan. He said Pakistan investors make billions of dollars by selling Afghan pine nuts under their own label.
This comes after businessmen in southern Paktia, Paktika and Khost provinces last month called on government to help resolve challenges they have in exporting pine nuts.
According to them, more than 40,000 tons of pine nuts was harvested this solar year but much of this was smuggled to Pakistan.
A number of pine nut merchants said they have been forced to sell their produce to Pakistan cheaply due to problems in the export sector.
Khost pine nut exporters said that every year, Pakistan benefits from the illegal export of pine nuts from Afghanistan.