The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
EconomicGovernmentNational

Cold storage shortage triggers fruit imports from abroad

Many fruit vendors and merchants complain about the lack of cold storage facilities, stating the shortage of cold storage has led to the import of fresh fruits from foreign countries. The Ministry of Economy has announced its cooperation with foreign institutions to establish cold storage facilities in the country. The Ministry of Economy is requesting foreign and domestic institutions to collaborate in the construction and development of cold storage facilities in the country. The ministry considers the establishment and activation of cold storage facilities essential for preserving and expand ing the trade of agricultural products. “The creation and activation of cold storage facilities play a crucial and fundamental role in protecting and preserving fruits and other products of our compatriots. For this reason, we have urged national and international organizations to comprehensively cooperate with us regarding the activation of cold storage facilities,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, the deputy minister of the Economy. The shortage of cold storage facilities in the country is one of the challenges criticized by farmers and merchants. Some vegetable and fruit vendors in Kabul attribute the fluctuations in the prices of vegetables and fruits in the market to the lack of cold storage facilities in the country. In an interview with Kabul Times, they complained about the government’s negligence and the scarcity of cold storage facilities, stating their fruits and vegetables get spoiled due to the lack of such facilities. They state that the farmers sell their fruits at a lower price to Pakistan and Iran due to the lack of cold storage facilities, and after three to four months, they sell them back to us at a higher rate, which is an economic blow to Afghanistan Hamid, one of the fruit vendors, said that the lack of cold storage facilities led merchants to import fruits from abroad into Afghanistan’s markets. He states that Afghan fruits have a higher quality compared to foreign countries. Afghanistan’s agriculture generates many fruits and vegetables, and if these fruits and vegetables are stored in cold storage facilities, we would not face a shortage of fruits. According to him, establishing cold storage facilities within the country can be beneficial for preserving Afghan fruits so that we can have fruits throughout the year. If we have cold storage, we will not need foreign fruits, even in the winter. The main reason for the significant spoilage of our fruits is the lack of cold storage facilities. However, the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock says that farmers and merchants have suffered losses due to the lack of standard cold storage facilities. “We have plenty of state-owned lands in which standard cold storage facilities shall be established so that both the private sector and farmers can benefit from it, and it shall be under the government’s control. A family cannot store a kilogram of vegetables and fruits in the refrigerator to keep it cold, so how can merchants store hundreds of tons of fruits and perishable items at once,” said Mirwais Haji Zada, the Deputy of the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce reports that more than 9,500 tons of fresh fruits have been exported to countries such as Brazil, Turkey, Germany, Pakistan, Australia, the United States, Canada, China, Tajikistan, Russia, Austria, England, and India. Shukria Kohistani

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.