In support of the local textile value chain in the eastern region, USAID’s IDEA-NEW program, in collaboration with Nangarhar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), facilitated a textile exhibition in Jalalabad city. Textile factories from all over Nangarhar showcased their homemade products, including scarves, men’s and women’s shawls, and cotton cloth, at this one-day exhibition.
The exhibit was aimed to attract buyers and help interlink textile businesses with other markets in Afghanistan. It played a vital role in sharing traders’ experiences on imported textile varieties available in the market so local production could be improved.
The eastern region of Afghanistan, particularly Nangarhar, has a long history of textile production. Kama, Rodat, Batikot, and Bihsud districts are well known for weaving cotton cloth, scarves, turbans, towels, traditional woolen hats, blankets, and shawls for the local market.
Demand is high in Afghanistan for traditional textile products produced in small-scale factories and home-based businesses. The products are so popular that it was deemed necessary to move from manual to power looms to keep up with demand.
The IDEA-NEW project offered support to local factories operating with manual looms, by helping them install automatic power looms -- expanding their production capacity several fold. USAID has assisted 16 small and medium sized textile facilities in Nangarhar, including a textile processing facility that provides washing, dyeing, and pressing services to other local textile factories. In addition to producing textile products locally, these businesses have generated 91 permanent jobs for locals in the region.
“I am Hemmat, a resident of Jalalabad. It is a real pleasure for every Afghan. When I came to this exhibition, I saw such items that were coming from neighboring countries before. Now that they are produced in our own country, I am so happy.” said a visitor in the exhibition.
NCCI officials, members of the Nangarhar Industrial Association, traders, businessmen, Provincial Council members, and other Afghan and U.S. Government representatives attended the opening ceremony of the exhibit.
USAID’s IDEA-NEW project focuses on increasing jobs and sales in rural and marginalized communities across the North, East, and West of Afghanistan. It is committed to supporting rural enterprises in terms of building their capacity, providing them with sustainable sources of power and electricity, improving the quality of their products, and linking them to provincial and national markets.