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Herat’s Zandajan now a major silk farming centre

Herat’s Zandajan now a major silk farming centre

By
On
Sep 06, 2017 - 16:49

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): The Zandajan district in western Herat province has become a major centre for cultivating silkworms, thanks to the abundance of mulberry bushes, according to residents.

The residents said the silkworm industry, a 2000 years old tradition, had been on the decline in the past in Zandajan, but was rescued and strengthened with the help of some foreign NGOs.

Shukria Tanha, who raises silkworms, said: “I started it from zero. Initially I invested 20,000 afghanis and now I can save 500,000 afghanis from silkworm business. I alone can support my family.”

She said all needs of her five children and ailing husband were met with earnings from raising silkworms. With her earnings, she bought a house of her own for her family.

Fatima and Lailuma are two other women who are engaged in silkworm business. They earn nearly 11,000 afghanis in one month by raising silkworms.

Fatima said:  “I brought up a bundle of silkworms in one month and sold them against 11,000 afghanis and then we bought two sheep with that money and sold them when they got fat and healthy.”

Lailuma said she has been associated with the sericulture for the past 40 years and was living a happy life doing this.

Besides women, men also play a crucial role in keeping silkworm industry alive. They help women provide the insects their only food -- mulberry leaves.

However, both the men and women working in the traditional silk industries, say the government should find good markets for silk threads and products outside the country.

Rahimullah, who along with his wife raises silkworms, said some organizations had provided them nets which were necessary for silkworms.

He asked the government to make sure silk products produced in Afghanistan were sold at reasonable price in foreign markets.

nh/ma

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