North Indian Market’s Old Ties With Kabul Affected After Taliban’s Takes Over

NEW DELHI — New Delhi’s Khari Baoli, the most significant wholesale dry fruit and spices market in India for centuries, is one of the fruit businesses driven by Afghanistan. The country acts as one of the biggest dry fruit exporters.

The dry fruit prices have witnessed a surge in Delhi following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the subsequent disrupted imports from the country. It has become a leading cause of concern to the traders of the Khari Baoli market.

Ashish Goyal, a trader whose family has been importing dry fruits from Afghanistan for four generations, lamented the decreasing sales due to inflated prices.

“My family has been importing dry fruits from Kabul for the past 80 years,” he said.

“But now that all kinds of imports from Afghanistan have dried up. It will be problematic for us if the imports remain closed for a long time. We will have to look at some other options.”

Goyal informed that many dry fruits like figs, almonds, apricots, and raisins are imported from Afghanistan.

“Because of the current situation there, the prices have increased by more than 25-30 percent,” he said.

“Our business has been affected a lot because of the problem in Afghanistan, and we are apprehensive. The people are either avoiding buying dry fruits or buying in small quantities because of the skyrocketing prices. The sales have been affected a lot because of this.”

Khari Baoli in Chandni Chowk is a Mughal-era market famous for the wholesale trade of spices and dry fruits. For centuries, the market has attracted traders from all corners of the world.

Another wholesaler, Santosh Soni, informed that dry fruits imported from Afghanistan have increased from INR 200 ($2.74) per kilogram to INR 400 ($5.48) per kilogram within days.

“If the situation does not improve soon, then the disrupted imports might affect our supply chain, which will further affect our monthly budget,” he said.

“Because of the increased prices, many customers are buying fewer amounts of dry fruits.”

The violence has dramatically surged in Afghanistan after the US drawdown started in May. In the build-up to the Aug. 31 deadline, the Taliban managed to seize most of the territory and key border crossings.

Earlier on Aug. 15, the Afghanistan government collapsed with President Ashraf Ghani leaving the country and the Taliban taking over the capital city of Kabul.

The world is closely watching the unfolding situation in Afghanistan as the countries have scrambled to evacuate their citizens from Afghanistan.

India ranked third in the list of countries that are the leading importers of Afghanistan in 2019, as per reports by Statista.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra

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