Afghanistan increasing agricultural exports to India

KABUL (TCA) — Afghan traders signed $68 million worth of deals for high-value agricultural products, such as pomegranates, saffron, apples, apricots, melons, grapes, nuts, and cherries, as a result of their participation at a recent trade mission in New Delhi, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

The USAID Commercial Horticultural Agricultural Marketing Program (CHAMP), implemented by Roots of Peace, facilitated the trade event titled “Made in Afghanistan: Nature’s Best” earlier this month.

A total of 49 Afghan exporters exhibited and over 800 Indian buyers had the opportunity to learn about Afghanistan’s modern agricultural practices and products.

The event capitalized on the growing economic cooperation between Afghanistan and India.

Last year, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani provided air cargo incentives that led to the first direct air shipments of Afghan produce to New Delhi and Mumbai.

Ajmal Ahmadi, Economic Advisor to Ghani stated that the air corridor connection has so far resulted in 100 air cargo flights from Afghanistan to New Delhi and Mumbai.

“We are planning to add more Indian cities such as Chennai and Hyderabad because we consider India as our largest market for agricultural and craft products,” said Ahmadi.

“Our trade volume has increased tremendously in the last few years,” said Afghan Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali.

“The trade volume between India and Afghanistan has reached almost $1 billion. But the demand is much more so we are looking for $2 billion in trade by 2020,” Abdali said during the trade mission.

The “Made in Afghanistan: Nature’s Best” event is a follow-up to the USAID-supported “Passage to Prosperity” trade show that was held last September in New Delhi, where Afghan agricultural exporters made $30 million in sales.

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Times of Central Asia