KUNDUZ CITY (PAN):Carpet weavers have been hit hard by the high cost of raw materials in northern Kunduz province, officials said on Wednesday.
“Because of the high cost of thread and dyes that are imported from Pakistan, carpet production has been reduced,” said Abdullah Kalantary, the head of the carpet weaver’s union in the northern region. “If the government does not take action, a number of carpet weavers will leave their craft.”
Last year the price of four and a half kilograms of thread was $6, and this year it increased threefold to $18. Therefore, carpet weavers must sell their products at the high prices, he said.
“Last year we produced monthly 10 thousand square meters of carpet, but this year we produce 6 thousand square meters,” he added.
Haji Abdul Hakim, a resident of the Juma Bazar area of the Chardara district, said last year they were weaving a six-meter carpet in one month, but this year they take twice as long, due to the high cost.
Baghicha, Maur, and Aaqcha style carpets are the most prevalent in the province, but their market has been reduced because of the high costs, he said.
The only solution to this problem is for the government and other institutions to establish processing centers for thread and dye in Kunduz province, said Haji Abdul Rasul Amiri, chamber of commerce and industry deputy chief of Kunduz.
He added that they have requested the building of such processing centers, but so far have not received a positive response.
Kalantary, the carpet weaver’s union chief, said that a carpet washing factory was established by the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in the province, but that nothing else has been done to develop the industry.
At least 15 thousand people obtain their livelihood from carpet weaving, Kalantary said.
Approximately 70 percent of the carpets from Kunduz are being sold in domestic markets and the other 30 percent are being exported to Pakistan, he said.