In Takhar, Chambos shoe industry on the wane

TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Locally produced shoes called Chambos have been in hot demand in northern Takhar province, but the industry is currently in sharp decline due to growing footwear imports.

Chambos shoe producers, concerned at their falling sales, want the government to support the business and keep the industry alive.

Khal Mohammad, one of the producers of handmade shoes, said: “They had a good market for their products in the past, but due to economic hardship the market is now in decline.”

He added one pair of Chambos shoes was sold until recently for 5,000 to 6,000 afghanis and the producers easily met their financial needs.

But people’s present economic condition was far from stable and they could not afford to buy this folksy footwear, he explained.

Rahmatullah, an artisan who inherited the trade from his ancestors, said it was not easy producing these shoes. They use traditional methods and skills.

He said they use cowhide and skin of sheep, goat or deer to make Chambos and export the shoes to Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Rahmatullah linked the poor economy of the people and lack of government support to the fall in the once flourishing business.

Abdul Rasool, a Yangi Qala resident, said: “Wearing Chambos is appropriate both in summer, keeping your feet comfortable.”

Khalid Haqjo, head of industry and trade department, assured the government would help the local industry and find a gainful market for Takhar’s products.


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