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Wool sector demands Govt support
23
Apr '10
According to a textile campaigner, potential overseas sales market for retaining continuous manufacture of wool is bright and instead of cutting out the country's research capacity for wool biology and new textiles, it should be strengthened.

According to Textiles NZ Chief Executive, Elizabeth Tennet, “It is quite a shame for a state science firm, AgResearch, to announce job-cuts, leading to a reduction in research activities and has now put up its textile testing unit up for sale.”

Of its total science sectors, 36 scientific and technical jobs in AgResearch have been laid-off, after sheep farmers voted against paying a levy that financed the work. Finance for wool research has diminished extensively to the point that we had to declare scientific and technical talent defunct”, said Andrew West, Chief Executive, AgResearch.

However, urging the government to take initiative to resolve the issue, Tennet avers that, “It is not right to blame the sheep farmers alone for voting against paying the levy. In this manner, we will just be ruining the research, development and innovation sections in the wool industry, in which New Zealand, so far, has been a world leader.”

Supporting Tennet is Agriculture Minister, David Carter. He said, “It is important for government to take charge in times of crisis such as these. Last year, farmers had made their choice to not support science initiatives, when they voted against the levy on wool research.”

Although government's special committee had announced that, for long-term survival of the industry, developing new, value-added products was the need of the hour, government still allowed the dismissal of technicians and scientists, who were the guiding force in the field, said a textile campaigner.

In 2009, the revenue from overseas sales of wool declined by seven percent, which has affected the industry adversely. Experts opine that, its time for government to take immediate measures to resolve the issues.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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