Pottery craft struggles amidst market downturn in Nangarhar

Pottery artisans in Nangarhar province are grappling with the decline of their craft over the past two years, primarily due to a stark lack of market opportunities in the eastern region.

As poverty continues to spread, the number of potential buyers in the province has notably dwindled, leaving pottery makers struggling to generate sufficient income to cover their shop rents.

Though pottery holds a significant historical place within Afghanistan’s heritage, the industry is currently facing a decline due to the scarcity of viable markets in the eastern part of the country.

One young man, originally possessing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, has transitioned into pottery due to the scarcity of viable employment prospects.

“I hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but due to the scarcity of job opportunities, I have taken up pottery,” remarked Mohammed Tayyib, a pottery vendor based in Nangarhar.

Artisans engaged in the pottery trade in Nangarhar have highlighted the unfavorable economic conditions that have persisted over the past two years. This economic downturn has led to a significant decrease in buyers patronizing their businesses.

“The market has experienced a considerable downturn. Few customers are purchasing our products. Our craft has been passed down through generations,” stated Sharbat Gul, a pottery maker hailing from Nangarhar.

Making concerted efforts, the artisans still struggle to find suitable storage for their wares, which are susceptible to damage when exposed to rain. Their appeal for a proper storage facility remains unfulfilled.

“We put in a great deal of effort, yet we lack appropriate storage facilities for our products. Rainfall damages our creations. We urgently need a suitable storage location,” emphasized Shir Agha, a potter situated in Nangarhar.

The head of the Nangarhar Pottery Makers Union stressed the necessity of strong support to sustain and elevate this craft.

“Lamentably, there has been minimal support, even in prior administrations. Those dedicated to this trade can barely manage the costs of their rented shops,” asserted Abid Amir, the union’s leader.

Pottery artisans believe that they possess the capacity to enhance their craft with the right support, particularly by securing adequate storage facilities for their products.