Cooked fish meat sold in Kabul without hygiene checked

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) said that fish meat production has increased in the country, but still Pakistani fish occupied a decent market in Kabul.

About 10, 000 tons of fish meat is produced at nearly 2000 farms annually in Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Nangarhar, Laghman, Balkh and Nimroz provinces, said MAIL spokesman Akbar Rustami.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News that “Qarghai” remained the only comprehensive productive fish farm throughout the country and MAIL planned to construct three more such productive fish farms in Balkh, Nangarhar Bamyan provinces.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries says Afghanistan annually imports fish meat worth 1$ million from neighboring countries.

Sakhi Mohammad, who has been running a fish farm for the past 10 years in Nadar Pashton street, told Pajhwok people were interested in buying Pakistani fish due to the lack of domestic fish.

He said the demand for fish was high as compared to the quantity produced in local farms and rivers.

According to him, the decrease in rivers’ water in winter has caused the shortage of domestic fish in the bazaar and that why traders had to import Pakistani fish.

He added the Pakistani fish was imported in special refrigerator-fitted vehicles. He further added a kilogram of the Pakistani fish was sold from 100 afghanis to 350 afghanis but the same quantity of domestic fish was sold from 300 afghanis to 1000 afghanis, a price beyond people’s affordability.

Safar Mohammad, a fish meat trader, told Pajhwok that around 1000 cartons of were imported from Pakistan on a daily basis via the Spin Boldak border town to Kandahar and via the Torkham port to Nangarhar provinces.

According to him, all fishes imported from abroad have no health related concern as they were kept in a good way inside the country. He said fish meat was lost within two days if not kept in a fridge.

Pajhwok reporter talked to some people visiting fish meat sealing and cooking shops in Kabul city and most of them said low quality oil was used in fish cooking.

Haji Jan Aqa, a resident of Kabul city, told Pajhwok that he wanted to buy fish and cook the meat at home because the worst quality of oil was used by cooking shops.

He said washing and cooking fish meat was not easy at home, but it was important for health.

He said no oversight from the authorities concerned of the fish market had granted the shopkeepers a free hand.

Doctor Mohammad Hasham Wehaj told Pajhwok cooking fish in low quality oil was really bad for health. He said oil once used in cooking should not be used for a second time. (Pajhwok)