Jawzjan carpet market slumps, fuelling concerns
SHIBERGHAN (Pajhwok): Carpet manufacturers in northern Jawzjan province on Tuesday complained rug prices had slumped by 50 per cent, discouraging the people associated with the industry.
Earlier, they said, a 6-metre carpet sold for 34,000 afghanis, but the prices had fallen to 18,000afs. In the current situation, they have option but to go to neighbouring countries in search of employment.
Local officials say more than 20 percent of Jawzjan residents, including women, were employed in the carpet industry. The carpets woven in Aqcha district are famous globally.
Jamila, 50, who had come to Shiberghan for selling her hand-made carpets, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Before the market was much better. What we used to sell for 400 afghanis now doesn’t sell for even 200afs.”
She expressed her concern at the price decline, saying carpet-making was her only source of income. She warned if the situation continued, the industry would suffer a major setback.
Mah Gul, another weaver, said she had crafted Afghanistan’s map on one of her carpets, but nobody was ready to buy it. She asked the government to find a market for their products; otherwise their families would suffer.
Tokhta Murad, a businessman, said one metre carpet was previously made for 4,000afs but the cost had come down to 1,500afs. “The industry had suffered a lot and nobody would know Afghan carpets in the not-so-distant future.”
Yulberz Atayee, the Jawzjan chamber of commerce and industry head, said until 2012 they had 2 million square metres of carpet exports annually. The exports have now decreased to 200,000 square metres.
Atayee added Afghan carpets were smuggled to Pakistan and subsequently sold as Pakistani products in international markets.
“If the authorities are not serious and do not pay attention to creating industrial zones for us, our carpets will lose their marketability edge,” he warned.
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