Qaraqul skin exports rise
KABUL/MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) officials said on Thursday revenue from the export of qaraqul skin (embroidered sheepskin) considerably increased last Afghan year.
Last year, 320,000 skins were exported, compared to previous year's 24,000, Deputy MAIL Minister Rahim Mirzad told Pajhwok Afghan News
Last year's revenue stood at $3.2 million (afs) against $240,000 for the previous year, he said, linking the surge in skin exports to a long-lasting dry spell that left livestock owners unable to feed their animals.
However, he said shepherds would not slaughter sheep this year and would wait for reproduction.
The skin price had also increased compared to last year, as one piece was sold for $20 to $50, against its previous rate of $10 to $20, the official said.
Qaraqul Skin is used for making hats, particular Turkmen hats, footwear and coats, which have good market value in Asian countries. Before the civil war in Afghanistan, the government would earn revenue in millions from the skin exports.
The industry is flourished in northern provinces including Kunduz, Takhar, Faryab, Jawzjan, Balkh and Samangan.
A trader, Syed Mohammad, said the skin was mostly exported to Denmark and Finland. He exports about 600,000 pieces annually to foreign countries.
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