Officials at a rice processing plant in Nangarhar province are pleased with what they say desribe as a thriving business in the province.
Officials at the plant say they are currently processing up to 60 metric tons of rice daily, and that if they had better facilities, their output would reach up to 120 tons per day.
The factory started operating eight years ago in the Sheikh Mesri park of Nangarhar province.
“Our factory is equipped with up-to-date machines. "We have 60 tons of production daily and in the near future our production level will be increased up to 120 tons," Said Sherzad Azizi, the factory owner.
The rice processed at the plant is supplied from the northern provinces of Takhar and Kunduz.
Employees at the factory call on the government to support the creation of more such factories, with the support of the private sector, in order to provide economic growth in the country and for young people to work.
“"We have three types of machines in this factory that we use in the rice process……" said Shawokat, a factory employee.
“We bring rice from northern provinces like Kunduz and Takhar,” said Hamidullah, another employee.
However, Nangarhar chambers of commerce and investment officials say much of Afghanistan's needed rice is smuggled. They call on the government to stop the smuggling of rice.
“Twelve trucks of various goods are smuggled daily, causing losses to the government of around ten million Afghanis," said Zalmy Azimi, the chamber member in Nangarhar.
Afghanistan consumes large quantities of rice, and much of it is imported.