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Ethiopia to invest in Zimbabwe’s cotton sector

Ethiopian investors have expressed willingness to invest in Zimbabwean cotton sector. The fall of cotton prices on global market has affected the growth of cotton sector in Zimbabwe, which has resulted in farmers’ shunning the crop. At the height of cotton production, Zimbabwe was producing about 4, 35,000 metric tons of cotton but was able to utilize only 30 to 35 per cent of that cotton. The balance was sold as raw cotton. The country is now averaging between 1, 30,000 tons and 1, 50,000 tons of cotton since the downward spiral of prices.

Ethiopia is now going to sponsor the growth of the cotton sector and come up with cotton to textile value chain which will make possible the sale of cotton products which have value addition. About 43,643 hectares were put to cotton this summer cropping season as compared to 74,446 hectares which were planted during the 2015-15 farming season.

Cotton is one of the major cash crops in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, cotton is both farmed and manufactured into textiles for international trade. Rather than merely exporting this white gold, the country invests in the development of the entire textile value chain.