Officials from Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Monday said Islamabad has once again closed its borders to Afghan apple traders. According to ACCI, Pakistan claims the reason for the ban is that these are in fact Iranian apples.
ACCI deputy head Khan Jan Alokozay said Pakistan’s decision to close the borders to Afghan apple traders comes during the apple harvesting season. Pakistan has on numerous occasions in the past closed its borders to Afghan produce, citing quality control certification as the problem.
This time however, “they have claimed that Iranian apples are being exported under the name of Afghanistan, while Afghanistan apples are different from Iranian apples. Our apples are red and yellow, but Iran’s apples are green. Also Iranian apples will only be harvested in two months’ time; but in Afghanistan right now it is harvest season,” said Alokozay.
The Fresh Fruits Exporters Union officials said if Pakistan routes are not re-opened for Afghan apple trade, farmers in Maidan Wardak, Ghazni and Baghlan provinces will suffer heavy losses.