Local officials optimistic about raisin harvests; troubled by lack of export markets
Sun Jul 08, 3:23 pm
Most of the exporters of fresh fruits and raisins say harvests are increasing annually but there are no international markets that can absorb the exports.
Sayed Mustafa Azim, the head of export and development of fresh fruits, vegetables and raisins said that 24000 tons of raisins have been harvested this year and will be exported to 42 different countries around the world. However, a significant amount of the produced fruit and vegetables won’t make it to the international marketplace because of oversupply issues.
Afghanistan was once the biggest producer of raisins in the world. The years of wars has decreased the size of the harvest, and the fact that fruit buyers could not rely on Afghan fruit because of the country’s instability caused them to seek products from other countries.
In 1973 Afghanistan became a member of the Australian Sultana conference. As a member, Afghanistan adopted the Swiss standard sizing measurement method of grading raisins. At that time, Afghanistan had the first position in quality and export volume of any country in the world.
Afghanistan in 1971 exported 210 thousand tons of raisins and had first position in the world annually.
Raisin production has gradually increased since 2002, though it is still far from the levels reached before the wars. Exporters hope to regain many of the markets they lost during the years of war since they are still able to grow some of the best raisins in the world.