In order to boost its textile and apparel industry and also increase its foreign exchange earnings, the Zimbabwean Government launched the Cotton-to-Clothing Export Strategy last week.
The program was unveiled by Industry Minister - Mike Bimha at the Clothing Indaba exhibition in Bulawayo.
The cotton textile industry initiative has been launched with support from International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
ITC is supporting the program through its ‘Sector Development and Export Strategy’ for Zimbabwe, which builds on COMESA’s Cotton-to-Clothing strategy also facilitated by ITC in 2009.
Zimbabwe has drawn a roadmap to help the country regain its leadership in quality and value addition across the whole textile value chain.
The new initiative begins from the small cotton farmer to yarn spinning and finally apparels, which in the past played an integral role in the country’s industrialization.
The program also has food-security implications, whereby the waste seeds generated from ginning cotton can be used as animal feed and cottonseed oil used for human consumption.
Around 100 stakeholders across the whole textile-value chain have been involved, which includes the public sector, rural communities, small and medium-sized enterprises and civil society.
These stakeholders helped in evolving a series of market-led development priorities to support the program.
These priorities include identifying key markets in Europe, Asia and Africa where the value, diversity and attractiveness of 'Made in Zimbabwe' products have not yet been tapped.
The program seeks to hike cotton farming yields by 71 percent, which can benefit around 250,000 small farmers, raising seed-cotton output to 450,000 tons annually and has set a target to achieve US$ 110 million in textile and garment exports by 2019.
Speaking at the launch, Mike Bimha said, “Zimbabwe has an abundant production of quality cotton as well as skilled manpower, so apart from generating much needed foreign exchange, it will also reposition Zimbabwe as a global competitor.” (AR)
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India