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Nov 12, 2017
Nangarhar olive factory resumes work after 3 years of halt
Nov 11, 2017 - 19:38
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): After suspending operations three years ago, the Nangarhar Olive Processing Factory on Saturday resumed work, officials said, hoping the plant would produce olive oil and pickle from 1,200 tons of olive collected this year.
The Olive Processing factory in the eastern province of Nangarhar was established about 33 years back by Russians. The factory’s equipment needed repairs after their long time use.
The factory’s operations came to a halt about three years back due to lack of olive production in the province.
However, bumper olive production in Nangarhar this year prompted re-activation of the factory. According to officials, with the help of local engineers and technical workers, the factory could manage to process this year’s olive produce.
Nangarhar Governor, provincial council members and the Nangarhar Canalisation department head visited the plant and listened to issues of workers.
The factory chief, Eng. Mohammad Musa Isazai, said about 1,200 tons of olive had been brought to the factory for making olive oil and about 35 tons more for producing pickle this year.
He said the factory once used to have 2,500 workers, including 250 females. However, their number dropped to 60 employees, six of them women, now.
Isazai said the factory needed attention to be rehabilitated and the number of technical workers should be increased for more production.
The Nangarhar canalization department head, Ghulam Hazrat Abdul Rahimzai, acknowledged the dearth of workers, but said the factory was set to process olive harvest from all Nangarhar farms.
He admitted the shortage of personnel resulted in loss of a part of the olive harvest. However, he said new ways were being considered for next year’s harvest campaign.
A member of the Nangarhar provincial council, Ajmal Omar, asked the government to ensure security of the factory and increase its workers in order to improve domestic production.
Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal, who monitored various section of the factory, told media that temporary workers were hired this year for resolving the issue of collecting olive harvest and efforts were being made to employ permanent workers next year.
He called olive product as a good source of income, asking people to help promote domestic products and improve economic situation of the country through purchasing the factory’s products.
The Nangarhar Olive Processing Factory stopped production after the decades-long war badly affected olive farms in the provinces. Once its products would export to foreign countries but recently its activity has been pale.
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