New Delhi, Nov 15 With fresh fruits, juices, rugs and semi-precious stone jewellery, the Afghan pavilion is becoming a major highlight at the 31st edition of the 14-day India International Trade Fair (IITF) here.
Though there are many business visitors at the stalls, the traders are eagerly looking forward to Nov 19 (Saturday), from when the fair would be open for the general public.
“We have come to India for the first time and the response that we are getting is really good. While we have been approached by over half a dozen companies, we also have products like fruit juices that we would like to sell directly to the end consumers,” said Abidullah, a representative of Omaid Bahar Juice Processing Company.
Omaid Bahar claims to be the first and only fruit juice concentrate firm in Afghanistan and sells fruit juice concentrates and purees of Afghan pomegranates, apples, apricots, peaches, plums, watermelons and carrots, apart from packaged fruit juices.
While juices are priced at Rs.80-100 per litre, juice concentrates and purees are yet to be priced. “We are waiting for the industry to approach us and then depending on the market, we will price them,” added Abidullah.
Semi-precious jewellery, priced between Rs.150-4,000, is also getting good response from buyers, with handmade Lapis jewellery being sold by Afghan women being the centre of attraction.
“Lapis also has astrological values like blue sapphire in India and therefore there is a huge market for this stone in India,” Zohra Husaini, director, Zohra Hussaini Handicraft Company which has employed about 60 women in Afghanistan, told IANS.
Traditional clothes are being sold in the range of Rs.1,000-4,000. The pavilion also displays different types of carpets and rugs, ranging from Rs.1,000-1 lakh.
“Last year, the business was really good. We sold carpets worth about Rs.6 lakh. This year, we are expecting an even better business,” Hamed, representative of Gul Mohammad and Sons, told IANS.
“All our products are exclusively made up of wool taken from lamb’s chest, which is of very high quality. The price for these would range from $50-150 (Rs.2,500-7,500) per metre depending on the knots,” another carpet vendor Mohammad Ishaq told IANS.
Afghan dry fruits are famous the world over, and this was evident at the pavilion as well, with the buyers thronging stalls offering different types of almonds, apricots, figs and raisins.
“The response is fine, considering that just one day has passed as of now,” Abdul Khaliq, assistant sales and purchasing, Haven Fruits Corporation, told IANS.
Apricots are priced at Rs.150 for 200 grams, fig for Rs.500 per kg while almonds come for Rs.600-800 per kg.