Cotton exporter Benin developing home-grown textile industry

GLO-DJIGBE, Benin, Oct 24 (Reuters) – On a huge manufacturing facility floor in southwestern Benin, dozens of younger persons lower, stitch and assemble cotton shirts – component of a important force by the West African place to create its textile sector.

Benin has in the final several many years become Africa’s leading cotton producer, with annual output of 728,000 tonnes in 2020/21, in accordance to govt figures. It exports almost all of that uncooked, with the the vast majority going to Bangladesh.

Now, an initiative is beneath way to generate work and earnings by processing the cotton domestically, with the objective of exporting attire to client marketplaces in Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States.

“We have made the decision that in this state, we are no extended likely to sell this cotton raw. We are going to transform this cotton, in particular by installing built-in textile factories,” claimed Letondji Beheton, running director of the Glo-Djigbe Industrial Zone (GDIZ), about 45 km from Cotonou.

GDIZ begun two years in the past as the end result of a partnership amongst the govt and Crop up Built-in Industrial Platforms (Occur IIP), a pan-African undertaking partly owned by the Africa Finance Company.

More than $1 billion has been invested in the zone so much, which will include textile factories as effectively as cashew processing models, pharmaceutical processing models, and far more, reported Beheton. Only a quarter of it has been formulated so much.

Despite the fact that the devices are not nevertheless in position to get cotton from field to manufacturing facility, GDIZ has begun teaching about 1,000 garment workers using imported elements for now.

“When the Glo-Djigbe manufacturing facility commences its routines, I am certain that we will earn much more,” said 46-12 months-previous cotton farmer Leonard Madjaedou, who has benefited from authorities assist to boost his yields.

In 13 months, the industrial zone aims to employ 15,000 men and women in 3 textile factories that will have a processing potential of about 40,000 tonnes of cotton fibre, Beheton reported.

Eventually, he envisages a multi-billion dollar marketplace that could process the majority of Benin’s cotton.

Cotton is developed in several West African international locations together with Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, but most is exported uncooked with little industrial processing across the location.

Editing by Alison Williams

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