‘Qara Qul Exports Drop in 2013’

According to Directorate of Qara Qul Export Development in the north (DQED), the exports of Qara Qul products have significantly dropped this year

According to officials of the Directorate of Qara Qul Export Development in the north (DQED), the Qara Qul exports have dropped from 523,980 to 449,358 this year because of heavy rainfall.

“We exported 523,982 Qara Qul pieces last year but it has dropped to 449,358 this year,” said Mohammad Aref, Head of the Directorate of Qara Qul Export Development.

On the other hand, officials of the Ministry of Commerce & Industries (MoCI) say there has been 4 percent increase in exports of Qara Qul leather this year and the figure is likely to increase by the end of year.

"Qara Qul exports have gained momentum in recent years and good market, but it is nothing like as it used to be in the period of Dawoud Khan and Mohammad Zahir governments,” said Deputy of the MoCI, Khan Jan Alokozai.

 Qara Gul is referred to a breed of sheep with furry skin, which is used for making leather. These sheep can stand 45 Celsius in summer and (-30 Celsius) in winter. Afghan Qara Qul leather is exported to many foreign countries. The major places where these sheep are found include Northern because of the desirable climatic conditions.

After the lamb is slaughtered, its skin is stripped off and cleaned up. More the furry skin, greater is its value. The skin is of three types; gray, black and brown.
Qara Qul leather found its way into Afghanistan during the time of Amir Abdul Rahman Khan. The Qara Qul leather products like hats, footwear, and overcoats are mostly exported to Finland, Denmark and Russia.

The art of producing Qara Qul leather is common in Uzbek tribe in Northern provinces of the country like Faryab, Jouzjan, Balkh, Takhar, Kunduz and Samangal, says Mr. Aref.

“The Qaraqul industry which contributes millions of dollars to country’s economy every has lost the market because people nowadays prefer designer wear.”
Officials expect the number of Qara Qul exports to increase by the end of the current year. They say the exports of Qara Qul leather depends on the demand in other countries.

Currently, there are more than 8.7 million sheep available in the country.

Officials in Ministry of Commerce and Industries say the packaging of Qara Qul leather has increased in last few years.

Abdul Khaliq, a Qara Qul seller in north, says lambs with ‘soor’ skin are most valuable. “Qaraqul’s leather is used for making dresses and hats in other countries and such clothing finds many takers,” he says.

Haji Sayed Mohammad, Director of Rahman Habib Company, says the Qara Qul products are very expensive. “Very few people here can afford it so it is mostly exported to other countries.”Qaraqul’s skin is called ‘taqar’ in northern areas and in the southern areas it is called ‘bozkashan hat.’

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