The takeover of power in Afghanistan by Taliban has been witnessed by the world. Concerns throughout the world were raised about basic human rights, women safety liberty and freedom in the dictatorship that was being imposed forcefully by Taliban on the people of Afghanistan. Although, these reasons were of deep concern, the concern over trade of goods and services between Afghanistan and other countries were also raised. And after a lot of back and forth from Afghanistan and even from the countries that imported and exported goods and services to the nation, many saw positive results. India also received its first consignment of dry fruits that were imported from Afghanistan.

Source- VTV India


With the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, the import of onions, dry fruits and apples from this war-ridden country to India through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the Atari border were on hold. Traders of Dry Fruits & Spices in Mumbai & Delhi felt relieved as consignments of raisins, small pistachios, apricots, figs, asafoetida & shahi Jeera from Afghanistan that were lying in transit at the Wagah border have arrived in the market after the Indian Government showed a green flag. Though the consignments comprise only small quantities of dry fruits and spices, those will still help meet demand during upcoming festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri.

India imports around 85% of its dry fruits along with most of the piquant spices from war-torn Afghanistan. Annually imports of 36000 tonnes of dry fruits and spices from Afghanistan. A widely consumed spice in Indian kitchens, Asafoetida, also known as Hing was also bought from Afghanistan in raw form and then processed here for consumption. Exports from India include garments, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, computers, hardware materials, cement, sugar and synthetic fibre. In 2020-21, India’s exports to Afghanistan stood at $825 million, whereas imports were at $509 million. According to reports $1.5 billion trade is at stake as turmoil happens in Afghanistan.


When trade between India and Afghanistan came to a halt, several varieties of dry fruits and spices came in short supply, and prices had skyrocketed ahead of the festive season.

The price of Mamra almonds from Afghanistan, which were selling for ₹2,100 per kg in July, shot up to ₹3,800 as on August 22. The price of pine nuts and apricots had almost doubled, while Kabul black grapes, which were selling for ₹38-400 per kg a month ago, were now going for ₹780-800 per kg. The prices of dry fruit and spice imports had gone up in the range of 60 – 80%, if not more since July.

Source- NewsX

After the Taliban’s takeover traders from India were unsure whether the dry fruits that were in transit will arrive in India or not. Fortunately, the consignments have arrived and the traders will be able to cater to the market. The importers had started to think of alternative countries like Turkey to bring the products to meet the market demand in India, although those are not at par in quality with the dry fruits from Afghanistan. It is believed that the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan would lead to hike in the dry fruit prices in India as it has already gone up by 10 – 15% in the last fortnight, but might not have a severe impact on the trade in the long run, as consignments can be routed through Singapore, Dubai or elsewhere. Earlier when Taliban took over the country from 1996-2001, traders in India used to get traders from Afghanistan to sell their produce to their counterparts in Pakistan or Tajikistan. They in turn would import spices and dry fruits to India. When relations between India and Pakistan were tense, traders from Afghanistan and Tajikistan would step in. However, though this ensures that supply is not disrupted, it adds to costs.


As people are consuming more and more dry fruits to boost immunity during the pandemic, it would be interesting to see how Taliban’s new formed government in Afghanistan would take things ahead as earlier in 1996-2001 when they had taken control over the country, India had not recognized the Taliban government. And that had hit the trade badly back then, but now it seems difficult for Taliban to stop trade as dry fruits trade is very lucrative, and India is a big market for the Taliban to let go. With Taliban looking to get acceptance as a government in the world, they will try every trick in the book to do so. Experts believe that there might be retardation in the process but it wouldn’t come to a standstill which is good news for Indian as well as Afghani traders who import and export stuff between the countries.

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