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Japan grants $11mn to revive sea-island cotton in Jamaica
Feb '14
L-R: Clarke, Takes & Evans/Jamaica Observer
L-R: Clarke, Takes & Evans/Jamaica Observer
The Government of Japan has granted US$ 11 million for revival of the West Indian sea-island cotton industry in Jamaica, reports Jamaica Observer.
Yasuo Takes, Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, and Vitus Evans, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation (JADF) signed the agreement in Kingston, in presence of Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Clarke praised the JADF for spearheading the development of the sea-island cotton industry in the island.
He said the sea-island cotton is one of the crops that give a distinct competitive edge to the West Indian region. He added that efforts to grow the sea-island cotton at other places in the world have not yielded the kind of quality that is grown in the region.
Citing the advantages of growing sea-island cotton in Jamaica, the Minister said it hardly has any competition from other countries, and there are no known incidents of theft from the fields.
Describing the quality of sea-island cotton, Mr. Clarke said it does not spoil, and it fetches a high price, especially when the primary product is value-added. He estimated the return on investment in sea-island cotton at over 30 percent.
According to the Minister, the sea-island cotton industry has potential to create 15,000 new employment opportunities and earn nearly $1 billion in foreign exchange for Jamaica.
Sea-island cotton is a variety of extra-long staple cotton that is grown on a few islands in the West Indies, including Jamaica.
According to the JADF, Japan is the main market for the sea-island cotton, which commands a premium price as the world’s highest quality cotton.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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