The Indian Cotton Federation (ICF) has shown keen interest to invest in cotton development in Africa and improving trade relationship between African countries and India, as the textile sector in India is dependent on international merchants for sourcing cotton from African countries.
The interest was officials indicated to the 16-member African delegation, which was on a visit to Southern part of the India to understand the requirements of the textile mills. This is the fourth delegation in three months visiting India, the delegationâ€™s visit is said to be part of the Centreâ€™s Cotton Technical Assistance Programme for Africa, a three-year project and is expected to come to an end in 2015.
The initiative includes setting up of a knowledge cluster in Benin, bio pesticide lab in Uganda and skill development programmes in Nigeria in association with CICR and CIRCOT, said Milan Sharma, Head â€“ Africa Initiatives, IL&FS Cluster Development Initiative Ltd.
According to ICF Vice-President KN Viswanathan and also MD of KPR Mills, the expression of interest by these African cotton farmers and ginners would go a long way in establishing direct trade links between the mill sector and the growers of cotton in Africa.
KPR Mills has been sourcing close to 40 per cent of the millâ€™s cotton requirement from Africa. They depend on merchant exporters. However, late shipment, shade variation, contamination and delays in presenting documents are some of the major concerns that they face at present which needs to be resolved soon.
Meanwhile, ICF sought production details from the members of the delegation from six African countries such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Nigeria, Uganda and Malawi to work out next steps toward this new movement.
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