Afghan Biographies

Helmand Bust Enterprise


Name Helmand Bust Enterprise
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Cotton ginning factors
History and Biodata

The state-run Bust Enterprises Bost Enterprise, a cotton ginning factory, said on 20111019 it would purchase 3,000 tonnes of cotton from farmers in the southern province of Helmand this year (2011). The decision was made at a Cabinet meeting, the factory head, Sherin Khan; said, adding Helmand produced 5,500 tonnes of cotton this year. One kilogram will be bought for 51 afghanis ($1.05). He promised the Bust Enterprises -- established in Helmand nearly three decades ago -- would also sell farmers oil, oilcake and soap produced from cotton seeds at lower prices. The Afghan Investment Agency AISA put the state-run Bust Enterprise oln the list for privatization and sale to investors (2009) without much success due to insecurity in Helmand Province. The Afghan Helmand Province is marketing itself as a huge enterprise zone. (20110210)
 

Activists in Helmand are calling for Kabul to push through a promised financial rescue package to enable a major state-run cotton factory to re-open.

The plant, known as Bost Enterprise, was shuttered 2015, resulting in significant job losses in a province already suffering from high unemployment.

Since its closure, activists have repeatedly pressed central government for funding in the hope of bringing the factory back online.

In 2017 Afghanistan’s High Economic Council – set up to spearhead the country’s economic development - approved a 4.2 million dollar grant to the factory, but so far the money has failed to materialise.
 

Bost Enterprise was first established more than 50 years ago during the reign of Mohammad Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan.

At its peak it employed some 3,000 workers on-site as well as providing employment to thousands of cotton-producing farmers across the region.

Between the mid 1960s to the late 1980s, the plant processed around 32,000 tonnes of cotton a year as well as producing close to 11 tonnes of cooking oil and thousands of bars of laundry soap. But during the civil war of the 1990s it fell into a state of disrepair and was eventually shut down altogether in 2015.
 

Sherin Khan, head of the plant, acknowledged that the management had made errors in the manner in which they had pushed for government backing. But he said that officials remained in contact with Kabul, and that some headway had been made in terms of the allocation of new equipment.

 “They have promised action and the ministry of counter-narcotics has now sent two huge generators, each with a 500 kilowatt capacity, that will help power the factory when the time comes [to re-open].


“When we receive the full grant from the High Economic Council we’ll be able to set the purchasing price of cotton and inform local farmers.”

Attaullah Afghan, head of Helmand’s provincial council, agreed that reopening the factory could play a pivotal role in reducing poppy cultivation in the province.(20181119)

 

Last Modified 2018-11-19
Established 2011-10-20