Takhar craftswomen struggle with sales
TAOQAN (Pajhwok): A number of businesswomen on Sunday complained they were unable to sell handicrafts and other items made by women at reasonable prices due to a lack of proper market for the products in northern Takhar province.
A handicraft exhibition, showcasing mostly fabrics, was organized as part of a gathering to celebrate the International Women’s Day in Taloqan, the provincial capital.
Craftswomen Union head, Farishta Hussaini, told Pajhwok Afghan News 1500 women in Taloqan and Baharak, Kalfagan and Warsaj districts were associated with the union. She said they supplied handicrafts to other provinces and exported abroad.
She said they produced up to 3000 hand-made garments in three months and the products had also attracted buyers in Iran, Dubai, Turkey and Tajikistan.
“Our main product is Balochi embroidery dresses and each is sold to foreign buyers for 5000 afghanis and some woman dresses are even sold for 7000 afs to 10,000 afs. A woman can sew three dresses in a month and we are trying to increase the production,” she said.
Though garments made by Takhar women had made their way to the international market, their buyers at home remained fewer due to a lack of proper market, Hussaini said.
Farida Hussaini, the deputy head of businesswomen association, said they were still unable to compete with imported products because locally produced hand-made garments lacked buyers due their higher prices.
“We have to buy raw materials at a high rate, which has an impact on the rate of our products. If the government or NGOs provide us raw materials at lower rates, it will increase our production, decrease prices and lure buyers.”
She said most of their products were exported abroad through foreign traders and at home, the products had a fewer number of buyers.
A handicrafts expert in Taloqan, Nooria Nekzad, said the government had failed to discharge its responsibility toward promoting the handicraft sector.
She said if a market was established in Taloqan exclusively for women’s handcrafts, it would help increase the number of buyers with the passage of time.
Currently 5823 women are associated with handicraft industry in Taloqan, Baharak, Warsaj, Rustaq, Kalfagan and Farkhar districts.
Women’s affairs director Razm Hawash said a number of NGOs had assisted women in building their skills and finding market for their handicrafts, but the assistance had been insufficient to resolve all problems being faced by businesswomen.
She said a market for selling handicrafts had been established in a women’s park in Taloqan, but no department had so far come forward to lease it out.
She said her department had repeatedly called for the market to be privatised but no one could be found to take the market on lease so that women’s handicrafts could be put on sale.
She said handicraft industry was crucial to stimulating domestic economy and urged NGOs to help her department establish a women’s market in the province.
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