The once flourishing silk industry of Afghanistan provided work opportunities for hundreds of Afghan women in the province of Herat. However, since August 2021, the silk industry began to lose both domestic and international buyers.
Women silk mill owners are concerned about the fall of the industry.
According to Pajhwok Afghan News, 450 silk mills had been functioning in the province in the past, but now their number has decreased to only three.
The source adds that the price of each kilogram of silk has declined from 10,000 Afghanis in the past to 7,000.
Silk production is an ancient Afghan industry that is mostly common in Zindajan district of Herat province. Over 700 women work in the industry, employed in all phases of silk production from raising silkworms to turning them into thread and weaving them into fabric.
In the recent months, many women in the industry have lost jobs as the industrialists fail to generate sufficient income, as the industry has lost most of its international buyers after the international markets closed for silk exports.
The industry was also hit by COVID-19. According to Pajhwok Afghan News, the silk mill owners would receive about 5,000 crates of silkworms annually in the past from the animal propagation department, but this year they only received about 2,000 crates of silkworms.
Afghan women turned to reviving the Herat silk industry a few years ago.The Rehabilitation Association and Agriculture Development for Afghanistan (RAADA) organization spearheaded the revival of silk making in Afghanistan and implemented its first project in 2014.
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