Baghlan blacksmiths seek better market for their products

PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Blacksmiths in northern Baghlan province have urged government and public support as their product’s market had been hit hard by imported items.
The blacksmiths of Afghanistan, since centuries, are producing different house and farming tools such as knife, pickaxe, sickle, ax, shovel, plough and some other tools that the people use in their daily life. But blacksmiths now complained against the declining market of their products and said people purchased imported items instead of locally produces ones. Ghulam Dastager, the head of Blacksmiths Union in Baghlan province told Pajhwok Afghan News, the imports of such tools have left negative impact on their business.
He said: “The people used to buy and use locally produced tools in the past, but since the imports of such items are increasing from Pakistan, China and Iran and the people switched to purchase them, the people were buying and using the butchery and farming tools that were produced locally but now turned their back to them”.
But, Abdul Basir, another blacksmith also said, that their business was good in the past, while their market was no good during this year. He said: “I had more work to do in the past and my customers needed to wait for days for their turn, but during this year, the items that I produced are left in the shop, no one is asking for them”.
Mohammad Naser, another blacksmith said, that he has been in this business since 35 years, but his business during this year was very weak.
He said: “However the locally produced tools are more durable and good quality, but the people still purchase the imported ones”. These blacksmith asked the people and the officials of the government to purchase the locally produced tools.
They also called on the government to increase the duty on the imports of foreign tools. Sher Mohammad Ayoubi, the head of provincial Industry and Commerce Department told Pajhwok Afghan News, it is a part of government’s policy to explore market for for the domestic products.
He said some high level officials of the government are directed to ban some foreign products in order to encourage the development of domestic products. He added the domestic producers must ensure high quality of their products to encourage the people to purchase these items.
It is worth mentioning that some other producers have also expressed similar complaints regarding the dwindling market of their products.