Exporting quality carpets revitalizes leading position of Afghan hand-made carpets in international markets
4 APRIL 2012 | NANGARHAR, AFGHANISTAN
USAID’s assistance enabled ZRM, a local Afghan carpet weaving company, to complete a big order from a Canadian buyer. Carpet weaving, an Afghan profession prevalent in northern Afghanistan, has only recently been adopted in the country’s eastern parts. There are a few carpet production companies in the east, but due to their limited recourses, they have no direct access to international markets. The lack of trained carpet weavers to meet the buyer’s demands for new designs is another challenge they are facing.
ZRM is an Afghan private carpet weaving company operating in 10 districts of the eastern region of Afghanistan. Having more than 16 years of experience in the field of carpet and rug production, the company also has cutting, dyeing, and washing facilities.
ZRM recently received an order of 1,200 square meters of silk carpets from a company in Canada. Although the ZRM had completed several orders in the past, it didn’t have enough capacity to meet such a big demand of high-quality carpets from an international buyer.
USAID supported ZRM Carpet Company in responding to this order. USAID’s assistance included linking skilled weavers to the company, hiring qualified trainers to train the weavers on new designs, and providing production oversight to make sure the carpets meet the quality standards. The company was also provided with some raw materials to ignite the production.
“I was to reject the order that I received from Canada because I wasn’t financially capable to produce it. I thank USAID for its assistance and advice that helped me complete the order and convey the knowledge of new designs to some 90 local Afghans. Now, I am in a much better position financially and can carry on.” said Zarawar Khan, owner of ZRM Carpet Company.
Having exported more than 800 out of the 1,200 meters of ordered carpet so far, the company paved its road to international markets. ZRM now provides full time job opportunities to 90 Afghans, including 30 women who support their families working from home.
Last updated: January 12, 2015