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Zimbabwe's new industrial policy to focus on cotton
Jul '11
In order to ensure country's economic development, the Zimbabwe Government has recognized the cotton industry as a priority segment that needs to be focused on in the upcoming Industrial Development Policy, Mr Stanislaus Mangoma, Director of Enterprise Development in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has said.

Mr Mangoma, while addressing the stakeholders at a meeting of Southern African Regional Cotton, Textiles and Apparel (CTA), said that cotton and its by-products have remained to be a major income and employment generator for the nation and hence it is vital to work on improving value propositions of these products to ensure country's overall growth sustainability.

In Zimbabwe, nearly one-fourth of the rural population depends on cotton cultivation for their livelihoods, he said.

Mr Mangoma stated that in order to ensure production of quality textile products, the textile units need to install new state-of-the-art machineries. He cited that a number of textile firms closed their operations after failing to introduce new machineries required for production of quality goods at competitive prices.

He also disclosed that the soon to be announced Industrial Development Policy will introduce measures for better utilization of capacities of domestic firms.

Ms Angela Mulenga, Regional Agro Foods Co-ordinator, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) said that cotton is one of the key industries across the globe which has a potential to enhance food security and employment generation.

While speaking about the apparel value chain, she stated that it is amongst the world's longest chains which has excellent potential to boost food security, employment generation and for developing an industrial development base.

She also revealed that COMESA too has categorised 'cotton to clothing' value chain as one of the six priority sectors which have been chosen to develop the regional industries.

Further, she urged the SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries to give cotton production a priority in their industrial policies to ensure economic development.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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