Addis Ababa October 13/12017 A 15 years National Cotton Development Strategy aimed at positioning Ethiopia as the top cotton producer in Africa through boosting the production and productivity of cotton was launched.
The strategy was launched with the view of tackling the challenges faced following ever growing demand for cotton in the country.
The implementation of the strategy would enable Ethiopia to become top lint cotton producer in Africa from the current 10th place.
The strategy is designed to increase the size of land cultivated with cotton to 250,000 hectares and one million hectares after five years and in 2032 respectively from the current 80,000 hectares of land.
In connection with cotton production, the volume is projected to reach 502,000 and 2,596,000 tons after five years and in 2032 respectively.
It also proposed for the establishment of an independent governmental entity with authority to coordinate activities by various stakeholders through improving policy and institutional framework.
It would also help to promote sustainable production practices through awareness raising campaigns about soil erosion, efficient use of irrigation water and inputs and integrated pest management (IMP), protection of biodiversity, forests and limitation of waste.
State Minister of the Ministry of Industry, Dr. Mebrehatu Meles said the strategy would help to enhance the development of the country’s textile and garment sector, as it is one of sectors given priority in the industrial development strategy of the country.
Despite the country’s irrigation potential and land fertility, the nation has not benefited from cotton production as expected. Menrehatu said the strategy would enable to change this.
The strategy is targeted to attain various goals including improve the textile and garment products, earn better foreign currency, jobs creation, utilize the full potential of industry, increasing the contribution of the industry for GDP.
It would also have contribution in attracting investment, provide adequate inputs for industries and supply cotton products for the foreign markets, he added.
Enterprise Partners (EP), established to facilitate agro-industrial growth and enables access to finance in Ethiopia, said the strategy would promote integrated value.
EP Garment Sector Head Barry Fisher said the strategy comes up with good recommendations that will help to bring cotton sector into industrialization process.
It is a comparative strategy that will benefit all stakeholders in general and cotton farmers in particular as it would make them more profitable, Fisher added.