March 19 – A carpet training and trade show in Kabul and Mazari Sharif generated over $25,000 in spot sales and more than $600,000 in projected orders from international carpet dealers. Organized by USAID/ABADE, the event was conducted for a total of six days that was participated in by 50 Afghan carpet producers from Kabul, Balkh, Hirat and Ghanzi provinces.
The activity was part of USAID/ABADE’s support to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) in implementing the Carpet Sector Action Plan. The action plan, of which USAID/ABADE supported in developing, was a result of multi-level workshops and consultations with carpet producers, dealers and other sectors involved in the industry across the country.
To conduct the training, USAID/ABADE invited an international consultant knowledgeable in Afghan carpets who discussed carpet quality, meeting buyers’ requirements in terms of style, design and quantity, and marketing. Four established international carpet dealers from America, Canada and Switzerland came for the carpet show, where they conducted one-on-one meetings with the Afghan carpet producers.
Mohammad Asef Hamraz of Jawad Noori Carpet Weaving Company in Kabul was impressed with the training. “This program was well planned. The training was practical and relevant and our meetings with international dealers gave us very useful information on buyer preferences” he said.
John Nikbakht, from PV Rugs Co. in Arizona, USA, who has purchased several carpet samples says he liked the new carpet designs and will promote the Afghan carpets in their stores across America. “The selling points of the Afghan carpets are their unique designs, fine weave, great natural colors, and reasonable price.”