(MENAFN - Daily Outlook Afghanistan) KANDAHAR CITY - About 30,000 tons of figs – the third in value and production after pomegranates and grapes in Kandahar --- are annually exported from the province abroad.
Thousands of people are associated with the business of fresh and dried figs. Small traders buy figs in districts and bring them to Kandahar City, the provincial capital, where big businessmen export the fruit in dried condition abroad.
Abdul Khaliq, who brings figs from Shah Walikot district to Kandahar City, the provincial capital, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the fruit was mostly produced in Shah Walikot, Mianshin and Neka districts.
Besides Kandahar, figs are widely produced in Tirinkot, the capital of central Uruzgan province, and in Mizan and Shahr-i-Safa districts of southern Zabul province.
Khaliq said figs produced in the mentioned areas were also brought to Kandahar for sale and export. He said fig was a fresh and soft fruit but it could not exported abroad in fresh condition.
He was happy with his fig business this year, saying it had improved compared to the past years.
Jan Mohammad, a small trader who brings figs to Kandahar city from districts, said like him more than 5,000 people were associated with the business.
He said the figs were allowed to ripen and dry in trees first before they dried in the sun. The dried figs are then threaded into long rings and divided into three categories.
As the price of fig increased this year, a ring was sold for 10000 afghanis to 12000 afghanis.
A number of others traders expressed similar views and were satisfied with the fig market this year.
Eng. Abdul Baqi Bena, deputy head of the Kandahar Chamber of Commerce and Industries told Pajhwok, about 30000 tons of figs worth millions of dollars were annually exported abroad from Kandahar.
He said during the past six months so far 6000 tons of the dried fruit had been exported to India, Pakistan and other countries.
Bena said the dried fruit could not be exported in huge quantity because traders feared losses as they had previously incurred in dried apricot.
Thousands of tons of pomegranates, grapes and other fruits are exported from Kandahar to foreign countries amid problems in transit trade and lack of alternate routes to reach international markets, he concluded. (Pajhwok)