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Balochi carpet industry on the verge of collapse

Balochi carpet industry on the verge of collapse

Feb 26, 2018 - 15:42

ZARANJ (Pajhwok): The Balochi carpet industry has been on the decline in southwestern Nimroz province for multiple reasons, local businessmen say.

Lack of attention to the industry, mass migration to the foreign countries and inadequate assistance from welfare organisations are cited as major reasons.

Haji Malang Rassouli, a carpet dealer, told Pajhwok Afghan News Balochi carpets woven by women were globally famous. But decades of workers has resulted in the fall of the once flourishing business.

“Before the 1979 coup, the Madad Khani carpet was globally known and exported to European countries. But lack of support to women weavers and mass production has damaged the market for traditional Balochi carpets.”  

The businessman added the Balochi carpet industry was struggling in Nimroz but in some areas of Chahar Burjak, Kang and Chakhansur, the rugs could be found.

Zahra, 50, a carpet weaver, said: “In the past, the market for was so lucrative and we used to buy thread on loan. We would pay after the carpet was sold. But now machine-made carpets have harmed our business.”

She urged the government to provide equipment and thread for carpet-weaving women and thereby arrest the fall of the industry.

Mohammad Javed Bahrami, a businessman, said in the past Balochi carpets were in high demand, but currently Turkish, Iranian, Arabian and Chinese rugs had flooded the market.

Sheema Mohammadi, a senior official at the Women’s Affairs Department, said carpet-weaving course were organised but they were not enough. There was no organisation to support women engaged in carpet-weaving, she complained.

She said hand-made carpets needed more money and time while those made with machine were inexpensive. However, they still flooded the market, she added.

The official warned if the Balochi carpet business was not revived in the province, it would vanish with the passage of time.

Governor Eng. Mohammad Sami told Pajhwok Afghan News women were always encouraged to weave carpets. “Unfortunately, carpet-weaving women are yet to be given the required equipment and materials.”

The governor asked the government and non-government organisations to help revive the Balochi carpet tradition in the country.