As the number of Ethiopian textile and garment factories is increasing at an accelerating rate, the national demand for cotton has grown significantly. This growth has created substantial demand and opportunity for the local cotton growers to produce more cotton than ever before. However, the current trend shows that the demand by the nation’s textile mills for cotton in terms of quality and quantity is not met the local production.
Accordingly, the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute in collaboration with other cotton sector stakeholders is putting their effort in technical support and different facilitation to strengthen the national cotton sector. To understand and see the national cotton sector problems facing in cotton research, production, market and the significance of transforming the country’s efficiency and effectiveness in the cotton investment. The field day took place on October 4-6, 2018 where all participants from different stakeholders took a tour of the Afar Regional State. Along the way, participants visited representative ginneries aligned from Dukem town to Modjo town. The second day’s visit commenced by travelling to Gewane distinct of the region where representative commercial cotton farms were visited.
The afternoon in day two, the group traveled back to Amibara distinct, where the visit of few farms at Sheleko Kebele of Amibara district and a seminar visit to Werer Agricultural Research Center to oversee the cotton research activity and seed multiplication undertaken by the Center. The third day included the morning section discussion by the participants where forward-looking points were outlined. An immediate action point was taken to address labour challenges observed in the commercial farms. A PPP committee to oversee the National Cotton Development Strategy and National Cotton Research Strategy will also be stabled and the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (ETIDI) has committed to develop and share an action plan with all stakeholders on identified focus areas during this trip. Ultimately, these action points will affect the cotton value chain through improved productivity and increased collaboration amongst stakeholders in the cotton value chain.