Madam Doris Kessie, the National Chairperson for Textiles, Garment and leather Industries at the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has called for more efforts to be made to encourage the youth to grow more cotton.
“It’s time to train the youth and farmers to produce high quality cotton on a larger scale to feed the textile factories and for export”, she said adding that the northern parts of the country is a cotton producing centre as the environment is favourable for its production.
Mrs Kessie was speaking with the Ghana News Agency after a tour at the Akosombo Industrial Company Limited (AICL) and the Volta Star Textiles limited at Juapong.
The sector Chairperson was accompanied by Mrs Sharon Boccoh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vashty Garments, Mr Yaw Barimah, CEO of Barimah Shoes and officials of AGI of the Eastern and Volta Regional Branch.
The two-day tour formed part of a familiarization visit to the Eastern and Volta regions to engage with garment, textile and leather manufacturers who are members of the AGI.
She expressed worry about the serious crises facing the industry and called for governmental assistance to sustain the sector to help address unemployment in the country.
Mrs Kessie commended the two facilities for their hard work despite the challenges, and praised them for the quality of fabrics they produce.
She said when given the right resources coupled with modern machines, the factories could produce to meet international standards.
Mr Kofi Boateng, the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Akosombo Industrial Company Limited (AICL), attributed the collapse of ATL and now AICL to the influx of counterfeit fabrics from other parts of the world to the Ghanaian market.
He said the facility is now concentrating on how to export one of its quality brands ‘’ABC’’ fabric to the outside market to ensure sustainability.
Mr Boateng commended the government for introducing their facility to three years zero rate VAT saying it will enable them to bring their prices down and become competitive on the market.
He said currently, the company has employed 800 workers and has the capacity to employ a minimum of 1,200 workers when working on a full scale.
Mr Joseph Semaxah, the Weaving Manager at the Volta Star Textile Limited, complained about the low production rate, adding that they are currently producing 130,000 yards of grey cloth a week and attributed it to the outmoded machines and other factors.
Mr Semaxah said due to advance in technology, modern textile machines work at a rate of 1,200 to 1.500 revolutions per minute but they are still using loom machines that work at 165 revolutions per minute.
He said his outfit has employed 1000 workers at all levels and can employ up to 2000 workers when they are working at full capacity.
The two day tour took the team to other places such as the Ho Technical University and other leather and garment establishments in Kpando, Hohoe and Ho as well as Kpetoe , a Kente weaving centre.