The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Tuesday held a meeting in Kabul titled “Pine Nuts Development Investment Conference” where officials encouraged investors to invest in pine nut processing.
The Agriculture Minister Nasir Ahmad Durrani said Afghanistan’s pine nut exports will reach $1 billion a year if processing of the dry fruit is provided inside the country.
He said the ministry will pay loans and provide land to those investors who are interested in this sector.
“You invest and help us to preserve this national property,” Durrani said as he addressed investors. “We have plans for storing the products. We will build collection centers and facilities for farmers to store their products.”
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said some countries in the region get a high benefit from Afghanistan pine nuts due to lack of processing and packaging centers in the country.
The CEO of the ACCI, Atiqullah Nusrat, said the pine nut business will help increase the country’s revenue if processing and packaging opportunities are available inside the country.
“If we invest, even to a small extent, in pine nut factories, we can address the market demands by using Afghanistan brand on the product,” said Nusrat.
Meanwhile, head of the Pine Nuts Exporters Union, Yaya Khan Zadran, said a strategic plan is required for investment in pine nuts trade.
“The demand of the union is that a strategic plan should be prepared on investment in pine nut processing,” Zadaran said.
Statistics show that last year Afghanistan exported 1,100 tons of pine nuts valued up to $45 million through the newly-established air corridor to China, while it was 400 tons in 2017.
Based on MAIL statistics, Afghanistan produced 23,000 tons of pine nuts last year.