KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Handicrafts makers in southeastern Khost province say their production level is reasonable, but finding buyers for their goods remains a challenge.
The handicraft industrialists ask the government to help them in finding good market for their products and prevent the ancient industry from stagnating. Handicrafts produced in Khost include straw-trays, bread covers, hand fans, brooms, mates, mirrors and some other decoration items. These handicrafts are mostly made from the leaves of Nannorrhops ritchieana, the Mazari Palm which grows in areas close to the Durand Line, the handicraft producers say. Faizullah is a resident of Sadiqo village in Alisher district.
He brings his hand-made straw-trays to Khost city for sale. He said nowadays people purchase fewer trays than they did in the past. He told Pajhwok his family has been producing these items since last two decades and selling them to shopkeepers in the city.
He said: “We sell these handicrafts in the city and in villages as well, the sales have decreased because people are not economically in good condition.” Ghazoo Khan, another resident of Khost, said he sold straw-trays and other items produced by women in their houses. “The prices of these items are not as high as they were in the past”.
Ghazoo said: “We produce these handicrafts in our houses and sell them in the city, sometime traders come to our village and purchase these things from us and take them to the city, these items are hard to produce, each piece of a straw-tray takes 3 or 4 days to produce.”
A handicraft seller said additional to selling these items in domestic markets, some people were exporting them to foreign countries. Gull Mohammad Gurbaz has been selling such domestic handicrafts since two decades in his shop. He told Pajhwok these goods had a good market in the past, but recently their business had weakened and people were not willing to buy them.
“If a proper market is created for these items, hopefully this business can revive.” He said: “Handicraft business has completely vanished, if the government pays little attention to it, it can revive again, I would export such handicrafts to Saudi Arabia, Dubai and even Germany during the previous government, but nowadays no one asks for them.” Caretaker government officials accept problems in the marketing of such handicrafts, but Maulvi Shamsul Ahmad, the Commerce and Industry department head, told Pajhwok they would allocate a special market to such items in near future in Khost.
He said: “The government of the Islamic Emirate (IE) plans to create special markets for the development of the handicrafts industry, the provincial administration has been assured support in this regard.” Some residents of Alisher, Zazi Maidan, Sabari and other areas of Khost province have long been associated with handicraft industry.