KABUL: Footage received by TOLOnews shows that 18 tons of melons from Kunduz province for export to Russia is rotting in Tajikistan because it is not being permitted to reach the intended Russian markets.
The melons were supposed to be exported to Russia through Tajikistan, but the cargo stopped for six days in Tajikistan and was not allowed to cross the country. The whole consignment is decaying.
“One of our traders loaded 18 tons of melons to export to Russia, but the fruit are now rotting because of the delay. Although the reason is not clear, it has been said that Tajikistan has started exporting its own melons to Russia and that possibly could be the reason why the Afghan melons were not allowed through to Russia,” Massoud Wahdat, head of exports department of Kunduz Chamber of Commerce and Industries said.
The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said it is not known why Tajikistan did not allow the cargo to go to Russia through Tajikistan territory.
“Problems exist and a big part of the melons have rotted, but government has not taken any steps in this regard yet,” Seyam Pesarlay, ACCI spokesman said.
Meanwhile a number of economic affairs analysts have criticized government over not having a clear plan regarding fruit exports and said although a number of routes have been blocked for exports, the government has not taken any serious step to resolve the problems faced by the Afghan traders.
“The Afghan government must complain to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Thats is what the people expect, because creating challenges for the goods in transit is against the laws of the WTO,” Hashim Rasuli, an economic affairs analyst said.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) spokesman said the melon cargo has been rotting in the border areas between Afghanistan and Tajikistan due to some problems between Afghan traders.
“We contacted with a few sources claiming that the melons rotted because there were problems between the traders,”MoCI spokesman Musafir Qoqandi said.
Received information indicates that currently a one Kg melon is being sold for up to $2USD in the Russian markets and that Kunduz traders are eager to export the melons of the province to Russia.