Security threats, lack of demand and poor industrial infrastructure have driven the manufacturing sector in northern Balkh province into ground, Balkh Industrialists Association chief Syed Tahir Roshanzada said on Saturday.
Reportedly up to 180 production factories in northern Balkh province are on the verge of collapse and have already laid-off hundreds of employees.
"The president must address his commitments regarding industrial development and ask the banks to provide us loans so that the industrialists get on their own feet," a factory owner named Roshanzada told TOLOnews.
Zabiullah is a factory worker who lost his job three months ago and is in search of work. "Previously, I was working in a factory that was producing cooking oil, but the factory didn't have enough power or raw materials," he said. "Now I am jobless."
Mehrullah is still employed at a factory in Balkh. He says he feels lucky for not losing job, given that his team of coworkers recently downsized from twenty people to just ten. Mehrullah's factory is also a cooking oil one, and where it once produced 2,000 liters of oil every 24 hours, it now only produces 1,000.
"We do not have proper facilities for our production, so the government must help us and provide a better place," production company owner Balkh Hafizullah told TOLOnews. "It has been almost 12 years since the government pledged to provide us the proper place."
Other factory owners say the government needs to put in place tighter regulation on competition practices in the industrial market.