Raisin sales decline in Afghanistan’s Zabul Province amid export challenges

Merchants in Afghanistan’s Zabul Province reported a significant drop in raisin sales this year compared to the previous year.

They attribute the decline to ongoing export challenges, particularly with Pakistan, which have prevented timely market access.

Residents and vendors in Zabul have expressed frustration with the cooling market for raisins.

“It’s become increasingly difficult to operate under these conditions,” said Sayed Rahman, a local resident. “We need better markets, possibly in Pakistan or India, to export our raisins effectively.”

Abdul Khaliq, another local, highlighted the weather’s impact on their crops: “If it rains, our raisins rot. We need attention to these issues.”

Faiz Mohammad, also from Zabul, appealed for government action.

“We urge the government to take serious steps to resolve these problems because the community is suffering greatly,” he said.

Despite these challenges, Taliban local officials claim raisin production has increased.

Ezzatullah Amir, the Taliban’s head of economics in Zabul, stated, “Previously, there was no chamber of commerce in Zabul, but now it manages business activities and is responsible for finding markets for raisins and other fruits.”

Raisin sellers noted that last year, prices ranged from 500 to 650 Afghanis per kilogram, but this year prices have fallen to between 350 and 400 Afghanis.

Local Taliban officials are reportedly seeking solutions to bolster the raisin trade in the region and mitigate the economic downturn faced by farmers.