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Cotton lint now sold to local textile companies
Aug '11
On the occasion of Cotton Day celebrations in Big Bend, Swaziland's Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Themba Masuku said that his country has stopped exporting cotton lint and it is being now sold to local textile companies.

The DPM praised the Swaziland Cotton Board for such a step which enabled the country to overcome the previous practice of selling cotton to other nations as raw material. He said that he looks forward to the time when the Swazi textile companies will be able to procure all other inputs locally, besides the lint.

He admired the work of the Ministry of Agriculture which took steps to revive the once prosperous cotton industry. He revealed that the Government had purchased a ginning facility, which has been put under the control of the farmers through the Swaziland Cotton Board. He further said that the Government has sanctioned a small budget to help farmers procure the inputs necessary for growing cotton.

The DPM said now the onus is on farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the ginning facility acquired by the Government is optimally used. To help farmers produce enough cotton for the purpose, he said that they will be given financial help. But, he cited a note of caution and said that the farmers may not be able to properly take benefit of the financial help unless it is complemented with right technical support from the Government's extension services.

Mr. Masuku said that the Government wants to handover the operation of the ginning facility to a private company, as it would allow the Swaziland Cotton Board to perform its regulatory and other tasks normally. He said that the Government is exploring partnership opportunities to carry out ginning activity in the country.

He even had a word of praise for TechnoServe for giving assistance in the preparation of Swaziland Cotton Sector Strategic Plan of 2009-2014, which had led to an increase in cotton production during the last three years. The Strategic Plan lays emphasis on increasing cotton production while incurring minimal costs by focusing on efficiency.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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