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CASHMERE VALUE CHAIN AND PRODUCTION IN AFGHANISTAN

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Abstract

The soft-haired undercoat of the Cashmere goat is called Cashmere. Afghanistan is the third largest cashmere producing country in the world after China and Mongolia, producing 1000 metric tons of Cashmere annually and 18$ in value . The country is contributing by 7% after China and Mongolia producing 72% and 18 % respectively. In recent years it was reported that only 10-30 % of Cashmere goats are being harvested while 70-80% of the goat population is remained due to farmers unawareness of the Cashmere value, these farmers rise their goats not for cashmere but for meat and milk and the cashmere is taken as byproduct. A significant effort on awareness of farmers will rise up the cashmere production by more than 2000 metric tons. Most of Afghan Cashmere product is raw or greasy in form with none or less value addition (Afghan Macau’s company) in Heart province. All most all of raw Afghan Cashmere is being exported from Herat province to Europe and Iran where the product is further taken for processing, Europe demands pure Bahari Cashmere, however due to adulteration by exporters mixing pure Bahari cashmere (spring) higher in value with Skin type cashmere (winter or slaughtered carcass) lower in the value causes significantly decrease cashmere end-market quality which lowers Europeans demands, however China is still in need of lower Afghan cashmere quality for the production of low price garments, Thus we have the opportunity to export the higher quality of Afghan cashmere (Bahri) to Europe and the lower quality to China for maximum profit.
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