The CTA sector strategy targets the creation of 20,000 jobs (75% women) and the improvement of 20,000 household incomes via the generation of £150m in investments.
By the end of 2015, three active interventions are being pursued in the cotton inputs and manufacturing labour markets as well as improving the policy environment, with more interventions to come in 2016.
Promoting Access to ICS and Sustainable Cotton Farming
Income improvement of Smallholder Cotton Farmers (SHCFs) is highly dependent on:
- Their access to improved seeds/inputs;
- Knowledge of Good Agronomic Practices (GAP);
- Adequate extension services by GoE; and
- Sufficient access to finance and organised market channels.
This intervention, Promoting Access to Improved Cotton Seeds (ICS), introduces a business model that improves the management of seed processing by a Farmers’ Cooperative Union (FCU) and a commercial ginnery, through promoting good agronomy and farming practices to SHCFs and their access to certified and good quality seeds which results in better production and household income.
This business model, which embeds GAP and wise use of chemicals, will therefore increase the national “sustainable cotton production.”
Fully underway since 2014, EP has successfully worked with North Gondar Zone’s Bureau of Agriculture (BoA) and Ethiopian Cotton Produces, Ginners, & Exporters Association (ECPGEA) to facilitate seed distribution and marketing of 162 quintals of ICS produced by Metema Yohannes FCU for the 2015/16 crop season.
To ensure sustainability and continuity of ICS multiplication, EP forged ties with Metema FCU, Selam Union FCU, and Tiret Ginnery and engaged them as ICS multipliers for the 2015/16 crop season. EP is also working closely with the ETIDI and ECPGEA to identify different potential foundation seed sources or suppliers to propose a value proposition and engage them in supplying foundation seed for the 2016/17 crop season.
EP also facilitated formation of a working relationship between the Ethiopian Textile Development Institute (ETIDI) and private seed producers to support seed marketing and distribution.
Pre-Employment Skills Training (PEST)
Ethiopia has a large population of comparatively low-priced labour force for its manufacturing industry, especially for leather goods and apparel. However, lack of employable skills, such as basic industry skills, attitude and work ethics are key challenges to labour productivity.
In order to complement the on-going private-/and government-led initiatives in the labour market, this intervention supports private training companies to source, train, and supply skilled labour force (all poor women) who will be readily employable by the apparel and Ready Made Garment (RMD) industry.
Based on a tripartite training business model (training companies, apparel industry, and government) this pilot intervention will also be initiated in the leather goods manufacturing industry.
Accordingly, EP partnered with two private trainers – Wossi International Fashion Design Training Institute and Next Fashion Design College – to provide basic pre-employment skills training service for 7,800 poor women in one year (until June 2016).
National Cotton Strategy (NCS)
EP is supporting the GoE’s Ministry of Industry (MoI) to develop a 15-year National Cotton Strategy (NCS) as a component of the textile and garment strategy in its Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II).
Such strategy will complement the international trend of “Sustainable Cotton” demanded by buyers. Moreover, it will unlock and expand the business models EP is trying to promote with quality seed multiplication and processing by unions/ginneries and pest-management practices.
EP had invited consultants in an international competitive bid to develop the strategy and selected an overseas firm as the winner in October 2015.