KABUL: Tens of carpet weavers lost jobs as the exports of Afghan carpets have dropped 70 percent due to the closure of air-corridor amid the outbreak of Covid-19 that also forced many countries to shut borders.
Deputy Head of Kabul carpet weavers union, Deljam Manan Qasimi termed the reduction of international customers and closure of air-corridor as the main reasons for dropping the rate of exports. “According to the figures we obtained from the ACCI, previously up to 12,000 square meters of Afghan carpets were exported every month, but this figure has been reduced to 2-3 thousand square meters per month since the closure of the air corridors,” he said.
As the payments for carpet export have been significantly spiked, the traders are unable to afford the transportation expenses.
Suspension of carpets exportation triggered a significant surge in unemployment of women carpet weavers in several provinces, particular northern.
Director of carpet weaving company in Aqcha district of northern Jawzjan province , Abdul Rahim Fattah said that the carpet manufactured are no longer functioning properly.
“At the moment they (carpet weavers) cannot find a job, or a carpet to weave because the carpet manufacturers do not receive enough orders to manufacture more carpets,” he added.
Najiba, a carpet weaver in Kunduz, said that she makes her family’s end meet from weaving the carpets. “However, the wage is very low, and our problems are many,” she said.
Afghanistan is one of the world’s famous countries, where the hand weaving carpets are produced in a high rate.
The closure of borders amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 has put a negative impact on the Afghan production.
The ministry of industry and commerce said that it has been working on supportive packages to fund the export of the carpets via air-corridor.
A spokesman for the ministry, Fawad Ahmadi said that “It (ministry) is also planning to launch six foreign expos and several domestic exhibitions for the carpet industry aimed at marketing or attracting more customers.”
Based on official figures Afghanistan in 1960s earned about 20% of economic incomes from carpet exports.