Ghana’s cotton industry gets GH¢5m to revamp

Mr. Mahama Ayariga, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, on Wednesday announced that the government had secured GH¢5 million to revamp the cotton industry to make it viable and productive.

He said the Ministry of Trade and Industry through the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) had provided a GH¢ 3million facility for cotton farmers and an additional GH¢2million as subsidy on fertilizer and chemicals to revive the once vibrant cotton industry.

Mr. Ayariga disclosed this in Tamale on Wednesday during a multi-stakeholders conference on the cotton industry aimed at brainstorming and coming out with a strategic framework to revive the ailing industry.

It was under the theme: “Developing a long term strategy for cotton industry in Ghana” and attracted research scientists, agricultural experts, business entities, ministries, departments and parliamentarians as well as farmers and industry players in the cotton sector.

The four-day conference is also aimed at coming up with a comprehensive strategy to  revamp the cotton industry and to redeem its lost potential of alleviating poverty and creating employment for the people as well as revitalizing the ailing textile industry.

Mr. Ayariga said the Ministry of Trade and Industry is focused on developing a vibrant, technology-driven, competitive trade and industrial sector to contribute significantly to economic growth and employment generation.

He said two core strategies are being pursued by the ministry to achieve the target adding, “Export-led industrialisation and domestic market-led industrialisation based on import competition in line with a new comprehensive industrial policy has been developed”.

Mr. Ayariga said one of the descriptions in the industrial policy is the need for the Ministries of Trade, Food and Agriculture to collaborate to support farmers through sustained out growers’ scheme to produce raw materials for the growth of the industrial sector with cotton inclusive.

Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, underscored the agrarian nature of the Northern Region and said the region which used to be the food basket of the country had now become a net importer of grain.

He expressed dissatisfaction that the region could not meet the mere 6,000 metric tons of sorghum that Guinness Company wanted to buy from farmers.

Mr. Mabengba said a number of special initiatives that were introduced in the past ten years to improve agriculture in the country did not consider the Northern sector since none of the initiatives were executed in the area.

He said the cotton sector when revived could provide raw materials for the textile industries as well as the free school uniforms policy being implemented by the government.

Source: GNA

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