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EU & China must team up to promote fibre crops: Report
26
Sep '14
Image courtesy: Wageningen UR
Image courtesy: Wageningen UR
Europe and China must work towards cultivating fibre crops, says a report titled ‘Markets for fibre crops in EU and China’, published by the Wageningen University and Research Center, an agricultural research institute in Netherlands, which contains an analysis on the opportunities and threats in the international fibre crop market by researchers from Wageningen University Food & Bio-based Research.

According to the report, the mechanized cultivation, harvesting, and processing of European flax and hemp fibres can help develop very high quality fibres.

The European and Chinese researchers, who are working on the project FIBRA, whose aim is to develop an efficient system to sustain fibre crops for multiple uses, emphasize on Europe and China growing fibre crops.

The report says that one of the hindrances faced by the fibre industry is that the wages for the workers differ from country to country. The textile production that relies on fibre processing is moving to countries where labor costs are lower.

Another obstacle for the growth of fibre industries, the report says, is that the trade in natural fibres is gradually diminishing. Natural fibres, which have been used for thousands of years for producing clothing and yarns, are losing their value and are replaced by cheaper, but less sustainable synthetic fibres.

Another reason for the decrease in natural fibre production is that other crops such as subsidized energy crops are often more profitable for the growers than traditional fibre crops.

The report recommends mechanized cultivation and processing of fibre crops in China for raising the quality of fibres and for ensuring that prices remain competitive in relation to new low-wage countries.

Another proposal by the researchers is to set up international quality labels. These would ensure that companies on the world market could buy precisely the fibres they need.

The Wageningen University and Research Centre is a Dutch public university in Wageningen, Netherlands. It consists of Wageningen University and the former agricultural research institutes of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. (GK)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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