Cotton producing countries in the Eastern and Southern African region will now benefit from the newly established cotton testing facility.
This was said recently by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing, Hon. Dr. Mary Nagu, during the inauguration of the Regional Technical Centre (RTC) for East and Central Africa under the Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton Project.
Dr. Nagu said cotton is one of the world’s largest traded commodities produced in many developing countries including Tanzania and that in the last decade, there has been an increase in cotton quality demands from international markets that need to be observed from production of the crop to other stages along the value chain.
“The project will assist the cotton producing countries, especially the developing countries and the least developed countries to meet the required quality assessment demands of the global market and maintain the competitive position in the cotton industry,’ insisted Dr. Nagu.
Dr. Nagu said as Tanzania is currently implementing the green revolution campaign, the Centre will assist the existing ginning companies to improve and optimize the ginning process so as to produce high quality cotton lint and the quality information will enable traders to procure cotton that will satisfy their customers.
Earlier during the launching ceremony, the Common Fund for Commodities Managing Director, Ambassador Ali Mchumo said the laboratory which is housed at the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) premises will also serve as the headquarters of the Regional Technical Centre (RTC), and work with stakeholders such as the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) which has wide experience in cotton quality assurance and marketing to the international markets.
Ambassador Mchumo said the direct beneficiaries of the project worthy TZS 8.5 billion, co-funded by the CFC, the European Union (EU) and the Government include Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. He said another such centre will soon be opened in Mali to serve West African countries.