Cotton farmers shall reap big, says Samia

12Jan 2022
By Guardian Reporter
Zanzibar
The Guardian
Cotton farmers shall reap big, says Samia

​​​​​​​PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has assured cotton farmers that they will start reaping big from the crop with the price going up as many investors are now competing to purchase the crop for local processing.

Opening Basra Textile Mills textile factory in Chumbuni on Unguja Island, as part of activities to mark 58 years of the Zanzibar Revolution, the president said that for many years Tanzania has been exporting cotton as a raw material.

Now the crop will be processed locally, producing a variety of products for local sale and even for export.

“This is a good opportunity as first it will provide many job opportunities,” she stated, declaring that in order for industrial investors to get enough cotton they should liaise with farmers’ groups on the best price to benefit both sides

She described the industrial project as a saviour for cotton farmers and for young people to get jobs, urging the investor to expedite the project, finishing off the remaining steps to achieve their goals and the government to start obtaining revenues there.

It is high time the country stopped importing clothes, fabrics and accessories as it has enough raw materials and factories to produce the products, the president asserted, noting that the envisaged factory will cut imports of clothing, especially children’s clothing. It also expects to export goods to nearby markets, she affirmed.

Experience shows that most Asian countries invested heavily in textile industries with women dominating the jobs because they are stable and focused, she told the gathering.

The factory’s presence provides an excellent opportunity for many women, she said, urging them to improve their skills especially in sewing so as to access jobs in factories, improve their incomes and help uplift the country’s economy.

Industrialists should make sure that they produce quality products to perform well in national and international markets, she stated, appealing to young people hired in the factory to carry out their tasks effectively and faithfully, avoiding theft.

Dr Islam Seif Salum, the Zanzibar permanent \secretary for Trade and Industrial Development, said in order to accelerate the growth of the manufacturing sector, the ministry was following the 2019 industrial development policy.

The policy focuses on agriculture and livestock product processing, the blue economy, light industries and new industries that would emerge from oil and natural gas, he stated.

The government has set special incentives for industrial projects, uplifting incentives for manufacturing sector investors and the blue economy, he stated, underlining that  the textile factory is a strategic project costing 115.5bn/- at its completion.

The contribution of the manufacturing sector has increased to 8.1 percent in 2020 to 19.6 percent last year, with expectations that given the government’s commitment to increase industrial contribution, the sector will clock 22.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.

Omar Said Shabani, the minister, said the government has been investing in uplifting industries as the sector contributes immensely in the country’s development and technology revolution.

Many years ago, the Zanzibar government established factories like the dairy factory, sugar, cigarettes, shoes, mattresses, palm oil and others, he added.