HAWASSA – A workshop on promoting sustainable cotton which was held in Ethiopia last week as part of a four-year government plan to reach export earnings of US$1 billion from its textile and clothing sector by 2019.
The garment and textile industries are now priority sectors of Ethiopia’s second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), which kicked off in 2015.
Within this context, cotton is a key strategic crop. And in addition to GTP II delegates were informed how in October 2017, a ‘National Cotton Development Strategy’ was validated, which aims to boost the production and productivity of Ethiopian cotton over a fifteen years period up until 2032.
In his opening address, H. E. Ato Bogale Feleke, Ethiopia’s state minster Minister of Industry said: “In order to implement the strategy, a plan of action was proposed around five strategic objectives, including promoting socially and environmentally sustainable production practices (in the cotton sector).”
The workshop to promote Sustainable Cotton in Ethiopia was supported by Enterprise Partners (EP) and GIZ.
This new investment drive and focus on cotton sustainability comes after uncertainty in recent years about agricultural practices in Ethiopia which have been linked to land grabs – specifically in the Lower Omo Valley.