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Government reviewing strategy for the cotton industry

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GOVERNMENT is reviewing a strategy for the cotton industry meant to increase competitiveness and enhance the value chain in the five-year period up to 2019, an executive in the sector has said.

VICTORIA MTOMBA
BUSINESS REPORTER

The Zimbabwe Cotton Strategy is expected to be launched this month.

Zimbabwe Clothing Manufacturers’ Association chairperson Jeremy Youmans said the strategy would be launched at the clothing congress to be held in Bulawayo on September 26.

“The final draft document of the Zimbabwe Cotton Strategy is currently with the ministry of Industry and Commerce for approval. The strategy has been developed over the last five months, led by the Ministry, and representatives of the entire value chain: farmers, ginners, oil expressers, textile, clothing and relevant ministries and government agencies,” he said.

Youmans said technical assistance was received from International Trade Centre (ITC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the project was funded by the European Union.

He said: The strategy focuses on deriving objectives and targets with a plan of action for each of the objectives to be achieved within the five-year period of the strategy. The objectives are based on what is within our control, and can be achieved within the time frame, with resources that are realistically available.

“The association supports locally manufactured goods and advocates local procurement and support through moral suasion and enforcing compliance with international standards.”

Youmans said the aim of the clothing indaba was to raise awareness of the capabilities of the local industry and to market the tangible benefits of supporting local industry for the whole Zimbabwe. The clothing sector has 105 registered companies employing 6 800 countrywide.

Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha will be the guest of honour and Comesa secretary-general Sindiso Ngwenya and ITC executive director Arancha Gonzalez will also attend the indaba. At least 200 delegates are expected to grace the occasion. At least 20 exhibitors will showcase their wares.

The clothing sector currently contributes 20% of the country’s clothing and contributes about 2% to Gross Domestic Product.

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