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Tanzanian cotton output soars 37%

23
Jan '12
The East African country of Tanzania reaped 224 million kg or 987,000 bales of cotton during last season, which is a significant 37 percent higher than the previous season's output of 163 million kg, according to Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB).

Mr. Marko Mtunga, Director General of TCB elucidated that in spite of continuous fluctuations in prices, domestic farmers were persuaded to grow cotton by high prices and easy availability of farm inputs facilitated by the latest National Agriculture Promoting initiative, 'Kilimo Kwanza'.

Within the African continent, Zimbabwe is the biggest competitor of Tanzania with regards to cotton cultivation, with an average production of around 265 million kg per season. The two nations have for long been competing against each other in catering to global markets.

Tanzania merely uses 30 percent of the cotton produced domestically, and the remaining 70 percent of its output is exported, Mr. Mtunga said.

He informed that cotton testing laboratories of the Regional Cotton Technical Centre (RCTC) at the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) in Dar-es-Salaam greatly facilitates appropriate grading of cotton bales.

RCTC has been established by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) in collaboration with the European Union, Ambassador Ali Mchumo, the Managing Director CFC said, and added that the Centre caters to the testing and grading needs of nine Eastern and South African countries including Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Sudan.

There are only two such cotton testing and grading centres in Africa – one in Dar-es-Salaam and the other in Mali, which caters to the Central and West African region, Mr. Mchumo said.

He added that the two centres have aided the cotton exporters in the continent with identifying and accurately grading their cotton consignments, and thus, to better cater to the global market requirements.

Mr. Charles Ekelege, Director General of TBS, stated that though CFC and the EU have jointly set up the RCTC instrument testing facility, some contribution had also been provided by the Tanzanian Government for building the premises of the centre.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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