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Want to adopt ginning & handloom expertise – African delegation tells fibre2fashion
14
Dec '10
Delegates from eight African cotton growing countries which include Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe were in India for a fortnight to study the cotton textile value-chain in India.

On the last leg of their visit, they were in Gujarat for three days in which in the first two days they visited cotton ginneries, a handloom centre, met cotton growing farmers, met state government officials and also paid a visit to the garmenting facility of Arvind Ltd, the textile major in India.

On the last day of their tour, a meeting between these African delegates and those from across the cotton textile value-chain, beginning from seed producers to exporters was hosted in Ahmedabad. The representatives from Gujarat got an opportunity to meet and discuss various business opportunities sitting across the table with members from the African delegation.

Speaking about his experiences to fibre2fashion, the team leader from Kenya, Mr Micah Powon, CEO - Cotton Development Authority – Kenya said, “The cooperative movement in Gujarat is very strong and the cooperation between farmers, ginners and spinners is very good. We got to see and learn firsthand a lot of things over here and since the cooperative movement in Kenya is not very strong; we can implement the same model in our country.

“Secondly, there is a huge potential to export raw cotton from Kenya to India and also on our visit to a textile mill in Ahmedabad, we saw a huge potential as it produces world-class textile products which can be imported by Kenya as well as we would also like to collaborate with them.

“During the first leg of our visit to Maharashtra, we visited cotton gin machinery manufacturers who have high-end technology and use minimum labour and which operate at low costs. Since the ginneries in our country are outdated and using obsolete technology, we could encourage our ginners to adopt this latest technology”.

With regards to attracting investments from Indian investors in to Kenya, he said, “There is a lot of potential in Kenya as well as the rest of Africa. Since our technologies are outdated, we would seek investments from our Indian counterparts in ginneries and textile mills by adopting latest high-end technology and we welcome all Indians to come and invest in our country”.

Sharing his experiences of this India visit, Mr Malcolm Tunga, Acting Director General – Tanzania Cotton Board, said, “We have learnt a lot of things during this trip. But one thing I would like to point out in particular is with regards to Bt cotton. India has now developed its own Bt cotton seeds and when you compare the costs with multinational firms, the technology is far cheaper, affordable and relevant to African cotton farmers.

“Other than that we would also like to adopt a number of technologies like production of Patco Boards made from cotton waste, which currently is being thrown away by Kenyan cotton farmers and help them increase their incomes. The handloom textiles sector for instance, is very well developed in India and creates and generates enormous employment opportunities and could also prove to be an area of cooperation.

“Other than that we came across a ginning training school in Nagpur, Maharashtra. We would like experts and trainers from India to train our ginners in modern practices. We also seek cooperation in updating the technology of our ginneries. The first thing we will do when we reach home is inform our government of the opportunities in seeking cooperation from India and then take it up from there”.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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