Qandhari pomegranates, well-known for their great taste and large size, have experienced a massive drop in their prices in the local market in the recent days mainly due to increased supplies.
Fruit dealers told The Express Tribune that in the past Qandhai pomegranates were sold at Rs300 per kilogram but now it is sold at Rs130 per kilogram. They claimed that in the past India was the largest buyer of Afghan fruits but after the arrival of Taliban this was no longer the case as a result all the fruits were sent to Pakistani markets.
A commission agent Masnoor said that good quality pomegranates were sold at Rs120-130 per kilogram while the second grade fruits were sold at Rs100 per kilogram as there was uninterrupted supply from the neighbouring country.
A fruit importer at Torkham border Luqman claimed that each week hundreds of trucks loaded with fruits were crossing into Pakistan which was the main stabalising factor for the prices.
He said that the Afghan growers were not happy about this situation but consumers were able to buy cheap fruits.
Another fruit dealer claimed that there was a considerable decrease in the pomegranate prices in Peshawar and as a result people were also buying it in large quantities.
He said that Sunderkhani grapes were also sold at just Rs180 per kilogram so there was a drop in the prices of all fruits in the face of increased supply.
Former president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Faiz Muhammad claimed that there was a bumper yield of fruits in Afghanistan and Pakistan had also decreased sales tax by 15 per cent so all these factors contributed to lower fruit prices.
He said that Pakistani exports to the war-torn country stand at $2 billion and its imports were just $600 million. He added that the closure of Chaman border also increased trade via Torkham border.