The Chinese government has proposed a trading cooperation model for cotton farmers in the country who have suffered major income losses due to lack of market for the crop.
The Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Lu Youqing disclosed this yesterday when addressing reporters on the fifth ministerial conference of Forum on China –Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which was recently held in China. The envoy also listed Tanzania-China co-operation achievements for the year 2010-2012 and prospects for 2013-2015.
He said the cooperation model can work for the cotton markets in Tanzania.
“I have talked with a Chinese Textile Company to come and invest in the country. The National Bank of China will also want to support Tanzania farmers in cotton planting and processing. There are funds already set for the project,” he said.
Youqing assured Tanzanians that the investment in the cotton crop which is planned by China could double production.
“We have been told that the cotton produced in Tanzania is the best in the world market because is not contaminated by any chemicals.
“But people say cotton has not gained market….I think we need a company and farmers cooperation model. This will assure farmers of a permanent market,” he noted.
The envoy said due to the rise in intentional grain and oil prices, Tanzania suffered from the pressure to a certain degree with the inflation rate remaining high and affecting people’s standard of living.
The move comes as Members of Parliament vowed in the House not to sell cotton if the price remained below 1,000/- per kilo.
Bariadi West MP Andrew Chenge and his Sumve counterpart Richard Ndassa have urged their voters not to sell the crop at any price below 1,000/-.
Chenge issued the warning when tabling views of the Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Economy, which he chairs.
Ndassa said more than 16 million people were involved in cotton growing in 42 districts. “A lot of people depend on cotton for their livelihood. Therefore, the price floor should not be below 1,000/-.”
The Chinese envoy said his government will continue to support Tanzania to develop agriculture, by promoting Kilimo Kwanza and Southern Agricultural Corridor of Tanzania, and besides the cotton farmers.
“The Chinese side will make every effort to fulfill the target of China- Tanzania agricultural cooperation with the total investment reaching USD1billion,” said Youqing.
“We would like to share with Tanzania the long-term accumulated technologies and experiences of rice and cotton planting, seed optimising and product processing capability…value addition,” said the envoy.
Between 2009 -2011 China –Tanzania bilateral trade volume grew from USD1.11billion, to USD2.15 billion respectively, with total volume since 2009 amounting to USD 5.7billion, if USD 770million are added between January and May this year, according to the envoy.
He told the media that China will actively introduce competitive Chinese enterprises to invest in Tanzania and help the country to access domestic and overseas markets.