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Cotton exporter's guide and Promoting West-African cotton to Asia
The first and major objective of this project is to provide to African cotton growers and traders a practical and down-to-earth guidebook on how to find new business partners on world markets. The "Cotton Exporter's Guide" will be a reference guide for cotton exporters, and especially smallholders and traders, on how to export cotton to the world. It will address practical trade-related concerns of cotton-producing SMEs. A major part of the guide will focus on new cotton markets in Asia and how best to penetrate them. Moreover, the Cotton Exporter's Guide will be also be developed as an on-line Guide in 2009.The second objective of this project is to assist selected African cotton growers and traders to find new markets in Asia and particularly in China.
Activities and outcomes
The Cotton Exporter's Guide was printed in English French and Spanish. It was successfully used as supporting material for the EU-ACP All Commodities Programme Kick-off workshops. One result of these workshops was the strong request from African countries to use the guide as the major reference material for the development of a cotton school in Africa. This idea was welcomed and approved, in principle, by the International Cotton Advisory Committee. Discussions are on-going with the EC for developing such a school within the larger context of "Université du Coton).The Cotton Exporter's Guide will be made available on-line in all three languages (English, French and Spanish) by the end of 2009.South-South Cooperation activities were undertaken in Turkey for one week in October 2008. 14 participants from 6 African countries learned from Turkey on a) cotton production, including seed development, planting, harvesting and ginning; b) fibre transformation and how to develop a textile and clothing industry; c) sourcing of cotton inputs from Turkey. Moreover, they experienced Turkey as an important cotton market and established first hand contacts with the market (follow-up is ongoing). Finally, a closer network among the participating African countries was established.The Africa Cotton Association recommended the repetition of this programme in 2009 with other African countries.A cotton trade promotion and TCDC approach was developed and implemented to improve African cotton for exports to Asia and utilized under additional funding. South-south cooperation activities were implemented under the AAACP, including in countries such as Bangladesh and China (for East and Southern Africa) as well as Thailand and Turkey in 2009.In addition, new opportunities for promoting south-south cooperation and promotion of African cotton were identified in India, Brazil as well as Vietnam and Indonesia/Thailand. The latter will be further developed with the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries (AFTEX).The International Cotton School of the University of Memphis and the American Cotton Shippers Association uses the Cotton Exporter's Guide as its official textbook for its annually 9-week training curse on cotton and cotton trade. The fact that the most advanced cotton school in the world and the American cotton farmers and traders use this guide is a clear indication of its high quality and standard.
NameCotton Sector Strategy Implementation
Implementation of product and market development activities of cotton strategies developed together with COMESA (incl. EAC and SADC) as well as UEOMA and CEMACActivities
ITC supports cotton associations to identify and evaluate specific markets (e.g. in Asia), build capacity through training and counseling of country counterparts to support African countries to understand and apply quality requirements and address other supply impediments e.g. reduction in contamination, improved cotton consistency and delivery.ITC can also support training and counseling of counterparts in marketing for selected importing countries such as Asian and other emerging markets. In addition, and subject to confirmation at stakeholder consultations and briefing meetings, training by textiles production buyers is foreseen for developing country producers with emphasis on markets, logistics, quality and preparation for enterprise matchmaking activities.A 6-day cotton market familiarisation and marketing programme was successfully implemented in Bangladesh from 29 January to 5 February 2009, which is the world third largest cotton importer. The programme was jointly organised with the Ministry of Textiles, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, and the Bangladesh Cotton Association. The meeting attracted lots of interest in the media and the Bangladesh textile industry.21 African participants i) had direct business negotiations with more than 10 local cotton merchants and an equal number of cotton-importing spinning mills; ii) understood and learned the specific requirements of the Bangladeshi cotton market, received insider information that international merchants would never share, including all tricks and issues that need to be addressed to successfully penetrate the market - special attention was given to issue of extraneous contamination of cotton and its effect on textile production and trade; iii) witnessed the development of the entire textiles and clothing industry through factory visits and got a firm understanding on how Bangladesh was able to develop the flourishing industry so successfully.While ITC sponsored 14 African participants (representing the farm, ginning and public sector), 7 Tanzanian ginners and bankers joined the mission on their own full cost. This is an indication of the importance and usefulness of such missions.A 5-day cotton market familiarisation and marketing programme was successfully implemented in Thailand from 18 - 26 June 2009, which is the world fifth largest cotton importer. The programme was jointly organised with the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Textile Manufacturers Association. The Department of Export Promotion, Ministry of Commerce was also involved in organising interested Thai companies. The meeting attracted lots of interest in the industry and was officially opened by the Vice Minister, Ministry of Commerce. 24 African participants i) had direct business negotiations with more than 15 local cotton merchants and an cotton-importing spinning mills; ii) understood and learned the specific requirements of the Thai cotton market, received insider information that international merchants would never share, special attention was given to issue of extraneous contamination of cotton and its effect on textile production and trade; iii) witnessed the development of the entire textiles and clothing industry through factory visits and got a firm understanding on how Thailand was able to develop a flourishing T&C industry.A 10-day cotton value chain training and marketing of east African cotton to China programme was successfully implemented in China from 15 - 25 September 2009, which is the world largest cotton producer, consumer, transformer and importer. The programme was jointly organised with the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the China National Textiles and Apparel Council (CNTAC - the former Ministry of Textiles) and the China Cotton Association (CCA). 31 African participants (5 out of which financed their complete participation) went through an intensive training on all aspects on the cotton to textiles value chain, including cotton research, seed development, production, harvest, ginning and s well as spinning and weaving operations. An intensive training in Beijing followed field visits in Zhengzhou. The event culminated in a business networking (buyers-sellers meeting) that brought Chinese cotton traders and spinning mills together with African cotton fibre exporters. Moreover, African participated had the opportunity to interact with Chinese farm-input suppliers, ginning and textile technology manufacturers as well as the Zhengzhou Commodity (incl. Cotton) Exchange and cotton and textile research institutions. Participants had direct business negotiations with 50 cotton merchants and cotton-importing spinning mills; ii) understood and learned the specific requirements of the Chinese cotton market, received insider information that international merchants would never share; iii) witnessed the development of the entire textiles and clothing industry through factory visits and got a firm understanding on how China is managing its cotton as well as textiles and clothing growth.10-day will be implemented in from 27 September to 4 October 2009. The programme is jointly organized with the Aegean Raw Material Exporters association. 25 participants from the farm, cotton companies as well inter-professional organizations will go through an intensive training on all aspects on the cotton to textiles value chain, including cotton research, seed development, production, harvest, ginning and s well as spinning and weaving operations. The event will culminate in a business networking event between Turkish cotton merchants and African cotton companies.An extensive 7-day programme on cotton value chain training and marketing of West and Central African cotton to Turkey was successfully implemented in Turkey, which is the world 7th largest cotton producer and the 4th largest cotton importer. While Turkey produces around 400,000 tons of cotton its requirements are around 1 million ton p.a. The programme was jointly organised with the Aegean Exporters Association, the Denizli T&C Exporters Association as well as the Mediterranean Exporters Association. 19 African participants went through an intensive training on all aspects of the cotton to textiles value chain, including cotton research, seed development, production, harvest (hand and machine picking), ginning as well as spinning, weaving, knitting and garment operations. A one day conference in Izmir followed field visits in Izmir, Menemen, Ayden, Denizli, Adana, Mersin and Antakya. The event also included a visit to the Izmir Mercantile Exchange and a business networking (buyers-sellers meeting) that brought Turkish cotton traders and spinning mills together with African cotton companies. Participants had direct business negotiations with cotton merchants and cotton-importing spinning mills. Moreover, African participants interacted with Turkish farm-input suppliers as well as cotton research institutions.African cotton producers and ginners understood the specific requirements of the Turkish cotton market. Three main lessons are to be retained, i.e. the import market is dominated by US cotton; b) African cotton has a bad image including on contamination, stickiness (sugar content) and unreliable supply in terms of punctuality and fasts delivery as well as c) African suppliers need to ensure continuity of supply throughout the year. Participants received insider information and got a firm understanding on how Turkey is managing its cotton as well as textiles and clothing growth.
Achievements & Results so far:Due to ITC's facilitation a Tanzanian cotton ginners sold 800 tons of lint to a Thai spinning factory between December 2008 and May 2009. The spinning mill is now engaging to directly work with the ginner to tackle this problem and will send staff from Thailand to Tanzania in autumn this year. This shows that it is possible to directly link cotton producers with consumers without engaging international merchants. However, this example remains an exception until cotton suppliers fully understand international trading and its service dimension.As a result, On 26 September a first ever direct shipment from Tanzania to Bangladesh of a first order of 1000 bales (1 bale @ 200 kg) will be shipped. This is a direct result of the event organised in Bangladesh in February 2009. In fact, several Tanzanian ginning companies had follow-up visits to Dhaka, supported by the local CRDB bank. As a result this first shipment was negotiated and the deal completed. After a first-ever direct shipment to Thailand, this is the second example that direct sales of a commodity such as cotton is possible if a close collaboration of important value chain players at national level is secured.The concept of sub-regional cotton cooperation between Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi (MoZaZiMa) was developed by the various cotton stakeholders of the countries concerned. As the 4 countries face similar challenges, need to follow similar practices and have small cotton crops for marketing purposes, a closer collaboration was agreed upon. It will be further expanded in 2010 and 2011.
Provide to African cotton growers and traders a practical and down-to-earth guidebook on how to find new business partners on world markets. Assist selected West-African cotton growers and traders to find new markets in Asia and particularly in China.
Thirty-three African countries (out of a total of fifty-three) are producers and net exporters of cotton. In these countries, cotton plays an essential role in economic and social development, contributing to poverty reduction. Africa represents 14% of world cotton area and 18% of world exports for this product. Over the last 2 decades, worldwide cotton consumption has accelerated. After growing only 0.3 percent per year during the 1990s, cotton consumption increased by 3% annually during 2000-2004. Production is falling behind mill use in China, Pakistan, India and Turkey. These 4 countries alone accounted for 15% of world imports in 2000/01 and are expected to reach 49% in 2005/06.
● Publish The Cotton Exporter's Guide.
● Identify quantitative and qualitative cotton demand of China (Asia) from the participating countries.
● Develop African cotton producers and exporters knowledge of export procedures as well as Chinese (Asian) import requirements, distribution channels and the Chinese (Asian) cotton market.
● Develop and implement a cotton trade promotion and TCDC approach to improve African cotton for exports to China (Asia).
2007 - The Cotton Exporter's Guide was finalized and an advance copy introduced to the cotton world during the annual meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Izmir, Turkey in October 2007. The feedback from all parts of the cotton community was very positive and discussions were initialized to establish a "moving" cotton school based on the Guide. In addition, a technical paper "Organic Cotton: An Opportunity for Trade" was elaborated and presented to the cotton community during the China International Cotton Conference. Moreover, four South-south cooperation activities were carried out to create market transparency and to expose African cotton producers and exporters to Know How, technologies and market opportunities in Asia. These were implemented in India, China, Republic of Korea and Turkey. African exporters form the East and West Africa learned farming, breeding and production technologies in India and China and how to adapt it to the African situation. Furthermore, the entire value chain of cotton transformation was addressed and exporters gained a clear insight into how to transform cotton in China, India, Republic of Korea and Turkey. Finally, in all four markets African cotton exporters met cotton importers and users (spinning mills), gaining a full understanding on how to promote their cotton and how to conclude export orders with these markets.
2006 - The development of the cotton exporters guide was under progress. Most of the text for the guide was available with contributions from important international cotton players, including ICAC, universities, international trading houses, exporters, WTO and others. In November ITC, together with the South Indian Textiles Research Association, Ministry of Textiles, with co-finance form the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, held a Cotton Training Programme for 22 participants from four East African countries (namely Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) in Coimbatore. The training encompassed a series of lectures focusing on cotton production management, processing and value addition as well as international cotton trade combined with study visits to cotton fields, research institutes, spinning and weaving mills and cotton machinery producers. Participants acquired a sound insight of the Indian cotton sector and the success factors behind India's cotton boom. Moreover, they understood the market requirements to comply with in order to enter this market. This experience demonstrated that South-South cooperation is a key area to help African cotton producers address quality requirements and increase exports. According to the WTO Secretariat, this was a "welcome opportunity to show how trade could work for development in the context of the DDA". Participants commended ITC for a "pragmatic and result-oriented programme in an area of importance for Africa" and suggested continuing this kind of support project.