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Jul 29, 2023 0 Comments

Afghanistan's Pinenuts Season 2023: A Promising Harvest with New Challenges

Introduction As the pinenut season approaches in Afghanistan, farmers and traders are filled with anticipation for what lies ahead. This year, the pinenut jungles hold the promise of higher quality and larger pinenuts compared to the last two years. However, amidst the optimism, there are challenges that the industry must navigate. In this blog, we will explore the expected harvest, the impact of weather on pinenuts, the significance of traditional practices, and the struggles faced by farmers and traders. Abundant Harvest with Improved Quality The pinenuts from Afghanistan are renowned for their distinct taste and nutritional value. This year's harvest is expected to be no exception, with the jungles of Paktia, Paktika, and Khost provinces producing the highest quality pinenuts. Measuring between 1.5cm to 2.0cm, these pinenuts boast a higher oil content than those grown in Laghman, Nangarhar, and other regions. Projected Quantity and Export Trends Based on average studies conducted by RG Factory, it is estimated that the quantity of pinenuts available this year may range from 5000MT to 9000MT. While these numbers indicate a decline compared to the harvests of 2022 and 2021, it's essential to consider that a significant portion of pinenuts is indirectly exported through unofficial channels not reflected in official statistics. Weather's Influence on Harvest Rains play a pivotal role in determining the size and quality of pinenuts. Regular weather patterns directly affect both the quality and weight of the harvest. Therefore, rainfall in the pinenut regions becomes crucial to the success of the season. Challenges and Hazards of Harvesting Unfortunately, every year, the pinenut harvest also brings challenges and hazards for farmers. While collecting pinenuts from the trees, more than 10% of pinenut trees are destroyed, leading to damage to the jungles and a decline in pinenut quality. Tragically, farmers also face injuries, with 20 to 80 people falling from trees during harvesting. Traditional Methods Impacting Quality One of the most critical aspects affecting pinenut quality and weight is the traditional methods employed in processing and storage. Between the provinces of Paktia, Paktika, and Khost, significant losses, amounting to $5 million USD to $10 million USD, occur due to bad seeds and weight discrepancies among farmers. Modern Facilities and Limited Adoption To address quality and weight issues, modern facilities have been established in Gardez City, Paktia. These facilities provide standard processing and cold storage of pinenuts, minimizing losses for traders at a cost of only 5 Afg per kg per month. However, the adoption of these facilities remains limited, as only a few farmers have integrated them into their practices. Conclusion As the countdown to the pinenut harvesting season begins, Afghanistan's farmers and traders are hopeful for a successful year. The projected abundance and improved quality of pinenuts present exciting prospects for the industry. However, challenges such as weather dependence, traditional practices, and losses due to improper handling demand attention. Embracing modern techniques and facilities could pave the way for a more sustainable and profitable future for Afghanistan's pinenut trade. While the pinenut season is a time of excitement and opportunity, it also comes with its share of difficulties. Ensuring fair trade practices, promoting modern processing methods, and enhancing safety measures during harvesting can help secure a more prosperous and sustainable future for this valuable industry. MAHBOOBULLAH GARDEZI DATE:01.08.2023

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