By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: The country’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce has said that up to 40 tons of watermelon have been exported to Azerbaijan, but yet the price is decreasing in domestic markets.
The government of Afghanistan has cooperated with the private sector to send the first huge batch of watermelon to that country, Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzay told reporters.
After the unprecedented fall of the watermelon campaigns for its price increase started in many parts of the country.
The Kabul University has also conducted a luncheon in which the students have been invited for eating watermelon, a campaign the students and the university leadership conducted to support the domestic products prices.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has also ordered the fresh fruit to be lodged in the menu of some army corps of the country.
But it seems the efforts are no longer cooperative and the watermelon is still very low compared to the past.
Growers have not collected incomes from the sale of their watermelon as much as they could meet their expenses.
A kilo of watermelon is now sold in 1.5 Afghani in Nimroz, 3 Afghanis in Herat, while reaching to the Kabul markets it sold at five Afghanis.
A watermelon contractor, Sardar Mohammad said sometimes he gives some additional money to the sellers as their car rent while returning their homes, as they sell their watermelon in the lowest prices that couldn’t meet their expenses.
The acting chairman of chamber of commerce and industries, Khanjan Alokozay said a solution should be sought for the watermelon inside the country, as Pakistan imposed 200% on the country’s watermelon, India 150%, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan 200% when dispatching to Azerbaijan.
In other provinces of the country, such as Helmand, Nimruz, Kunduz and Nangarhar, yielding watermelon have been started, with a fear to sell them in the lowest prices with an undeniable loss to the farmers.
Alokozay said the country’s horticulture and agriculture were going on with no effective plan, and in the lack of market, the prices will fall and the growers will suffer heavy loss.
The watermelon growers ask the government to provide them with a proper market for their products to may not face such irreparable losses.