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Cooker manufacturing industry heading towards boom

Cooker manufacturing industry heading towards boom

By
On
Jan 02, 2011 - 19:36

AIBAK (PAN): With increasing production of pressure cookers at local level in the northern Samangan province, the import of foreign made products has reduced, dealers say.

There are about 20 shops selling homemade pressure cookers in the capital city, Aibak. Last year, traders had imported pressure cookers from outside, but the market was not very good for their sale due to the production of homemade cookers, shopkeepers say.

"The quality of foreign made cookers which we used to sell in our shops five years ago was very low compared to those produced locally," Abdul Malik, 45, a shopkeeper, told Pajhwok Afghan News, while sitting inside his shop offering different types of small and big cookers.

"I have many cookers with some having the capacity of cooking 70 kilograms of rice," the shop owner said, adding prices of cookers range from 200 to 5,000 afghanis.

In addition to the low quality of foreign made cookers, he said, the prices of locally made cookers are about 100 to 500 afghanis lower. "Buyers also prefer cookers made in Afghanistan," he said.

Sofi Abdul Qadar, a resident of Ghazi Mard village in Khuram district, said as homemade cookers were better in utility compared to foreign made, people in the province avoided buying Iranian cookers.

"We are glad having our own products and there is no need for other countries to sell us their low quality cookers," he said.

The profitable business has also encouraged people to invest by establishing cooker making factories.

Gulbaddin, 61, talking about the background of cooker manufacturing factories, said that six years ago there were only 30 such factories, but now their number had increased to 50.

"If the Afghan government encourages factory owners with the provision of raw materials, the factories would cater to the needs of Afghans and would also increase their productions," he suggested.

About 500 people have been employed by the factories located in various parts of the province, he said.

"Our cookers are of good quality; they are solid compared to exported ones, can cook food fast. That's why they have a value in market," Amrullah, who made a pressure cooker for first time 35 years back, said.

The cookers are made of aluminium and nickel (Ni), he said, adding they offer guarantee for ten years. He said a two-litre cooker is offered at 350 afghanis and 30 litre at 2,000 afghanis.

Complaining about a lack of aluminium in the city, he said, if Afghan traders or the Afghan government import aluminium from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the production would further increase.

The cookers made in Samangan are also exported to Balkh, Kabul, Baghlan, Kunduz, Kandahar, Helmand, Takhar and other provinces. Besides men, women have also been working at the factories.

"There are about 12 female workers at Shakeela Muhammadzai factory," said the head of women traders union. "I loaned 800,000 afghanis from traders to launch the factory, which helps the destitute women," she said.

The governor's spokesman, Muhammad Saddiq Azizi, said they planned to assist owners of the factories to further promote the industry.

As part of a master plan, he hoped all problems facing the factory owners would be resolved.

frm/ma

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