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Uganda textile manufacturers pushing for implementation of national textile policy

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-11-24 14:00:00 – Uganda

The textile industry is the only economic sector in Uganda which was once a vibrant sector is going through crisis, as it faces stiff competition largely from Asia and the Middle East. Although the government announced the first ever five-year National Textile Policy, it has not been implemented.

Uganda’s textile industries are pushing for the implementation of a National Textile Policy. They also want government institutions compelled to buy textiles from local companies.

According to Nyanza Textile Industries Limited general manager, Vinay Kumar with the implementation, the policy would enable textile companies access to concessional financing for investment .”

At present, there are several textile companies in Uganda lying idle despite abundant cotton grown in Eastern Uganda and Acholi sub regions. Also no new investment on board seen despite Uganda’s comparative advantage premised on availability of medium staple cotton.

Due to policy gaps arising as a result of failed policy implementation, some textile companies collapsed because of unfair competition with imports that are hugely subsidized.

Uganda is one of the few countries in the world with one of the best cotton grades hence they want the government to establish a comprehensive Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education uniform supply chain to enhance the consumption of locally-grown cotton lint so that cotton farmers get better gate prices, said Williams Okello, Nytil logistics manager.

The Nytil management noted that they used to produce various products including uniforms for different government institutions but they have resorted to importing them.

The company owned by the Picfare Group of companies, is seeking a 25 percent VAT waiver, equivalent to more than sh5b in order to sustain its operations.

The corporate affairs director Richard Mubiru said that its collapse will affect 2,500 Ugandans who derive direct livelihood from the company but also to the cotton industry generally that employs some 2.5 million Ugandans at various levels of the value chain.

The committee chairperson, William Kwemara (Kyaka County) Kyegewga district said that the Parliament needs to set up a policy on school uniforms to compel all government schools in Uganda to procure quality and standard uniforms, which are locally made.

Uganda must attract new investments into the collapsed textile industry if a revival of any kind is to be achieved in a sector that was once vibrant. Also there is a need to develop the whole value chain of textile industry from the fibre to the garment.

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