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Cotton output up substantially
08
May '10
Through the Ministry of Agriculture, the government has continued with its promise to revive the cotton industry.

According to Tom Jele, Chief Executive Officer, Swaziland Cotton Board (SCB), the cotton industry earlier, was going through a tough time with the decline in the manufacturing of cotton.

The Minister of Agriculture, Clement Dlamini, had assured that, the government will help revive the industry so as to fight poverty and unemployment in rural areas.

This was included as one of the strategies to help revive the cotton industry. According to him, cotton prices were the vital motivational point for the farmers to grow more cotton and therefore, the ministry was making all the necessary measures to ensure that the industry moved towards the path of recovery.

As per estimates made during this year, cotton production is likely to rise by 58 percent to 2,450 tons, up by 1,550 tons as compared to last year. Dlamini said that, although, this is way down from the targets that the industry could achieve in it peak period, they are still happy with their achievements.

Farmers apparently had also assured the government that, given a chance, they could attain higher production levels. Therefore, Dlamini, urged SCB and cotton farmers to work hard so as to safeguard government's confidence with the help of rise in production and yield per hectare.

Further, to grow and stabilize the cotton industry, government has submitted a Bio-Safety Bill to the parliament that is aimed at guarantying norms of GM crops that are based on scientific measures, avers Dlamini.

Under this bill, the country's ginneries will be able to widen their procurement of cotton beyond the country's boundary to help generate job opportunities in the industry and also help the industry grow at a consistent level, while ensuring improved supply to the country's textile sector.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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