Cotton production re-launch benefits over 1,000 farmers

  • A view of Benguela África Têxtil plant
Benguela - The re-launch of cotton production, to ensure the sustainability of Africa Textil, in Benguela, is expected to create opportunities for over 1,000 small farmers.

 

Worth US$420 million, the África Têxtil factory, located in the industrial zone of the city of Benguela, was paralysed due to a lack of cotton, and its management was awarded to Baobab Cotton Group, a Zimbabwean company.

Speaking during the ceremony to resume operations at the factory, the managing director of the Baobab firm, Laurence Zlatenen, announced that the unit will require 1,300 metric tons of cotton fibre per month .

"We believe that it will ensure a stable and reliable supply of the cotton fibre, as well as other agricultural products that will enable Angola to integrate into the global supply chain of textile and garment products," he said.

While the raw material, which is essential for the textile sector is not harvested in Angola, the manager said that the company would need to import cotton fibre from its farms in Zimbabwe, a factor that would require it to hire more factory workers.

The Baobab Cotton Group plans to implement agricultural infrastructure and equipment in three already identified locations in the provinces of Malanje, Cuanza Norte and Cuanza Sul, to re-launch cotton production, as a way of ensuring the sustainability of the national textile industry, the source said.

He noted that the factory had reopened with 175 workers and at the same time planned to start training 150 people, providing job opportunities for 325 workers, mainly young people and women in the sewing and spinning areas of the unit.

The expectation is that, with the process of importing cotton from Zimbabwe, the number of jobs will reach 750 employees by the end of this year. However, the managing director of the Baobab company expects another 750 jobs to be created as soon as the cotton starts to be harvested in Angola, or in 2022.

He added that agricultural and textile products would support job creation and small businesses in the services sector that use fabric to create products such as household goods, school and security staff uniforms, as well as gowns and aprons for laboratories and hospitals.

Agricultural businessman António Manuel Monteiro is pleased with the programme to revive cotton production and says that he has already been contacted about the possibility of taking up that challenge.

"This is yet another door opening up to support agricultural and industrial activity," he noted, pointing to the creation of more jobs as the main gains from state investment in the modernisation and rehabilitation of África Têxtil.

The Angolan textile industry currently has three large textile factories that have recently been refurbished by the government, namely Satec (Cuanza Norte), Textang II (in Luanda) and África Têxtil (in Benguela), which are dedicated to spinning, weaving and apparel.

Cotton production in Angola dates back to 1926. Until 1961, the annual harvest did not exceed 10,000 tons of cotton fibre. But, in 1973 it would reach a figure of about 86,000 tons, having, in that year, the country entered the list of the largest world producers of this crop.

 

Worth US$420 million, the África Têxtil factory, located in the industrial zone of the city of Benguela, was paralysed due to a lack of cotton, and its management was awarded to Baobab Cotton Group, a Zimbabwean company.

Speaking during the ceremony to resume operations at the factory, the managing director of the Baobab firm, Laurence Zlatenen, announced that the unit will require 1,300 metric tons of cotton fibre per month .

"We believe that it will ensure a stable and reliable supply of the cotton fibre, as well as other agricultural products that will enable Angola to integrate into the global supply chain of textile and garment products," he said.

While the raw material, which is essential for the textile sector is not harvested in Angola, the manager said that the company would need to import cotton fibre from its farms in Zimbabwe, a factor that would require it to hire more factory workers.

The Baobab Cotton Group plans to implement agricultural infrastructure and equipment in three already identified locations in the provinces of Malanje, Cuanza Norte and Cuanza Sul, to re-launch cotton production, as a way of ensuring the sustainability of the national textile industry, the source said.

He noted that the factory had reopened with 175 workers and at the same time planned to start training 150 people, providing job opportunities for 325 workers, mainly young people and women in the sewing and spinning areas of the unit.

The expectation is that, with the process of importing cotton from Zimbabwe, the number of jobs will reach 750 employees by the end of this year. However, the managing director of the Baobab company expects another 750 jobs to be created as soon as the cotton starts to be harvested in Angola, or in 2022.

He added that agricultural and textile products would support job creation and small businesses in the services sector that use fabric to create products such as household goods, school and security staff uniforms, as well as gowns and aprons for laboratories and hospitals.

Agricultural businessman António Manuel Monteiro is pleased with the programme to revive cotton production and says that he has already been contacted about the possibility of taking up that challenge.

"This is yet another door opening up to support agricultural and industrial activity," he noted, pointing to the creation of more jobs as the main gains from state investment in the modernisation and rehabilitation of África Têxtil.

The Angolan textile industry currently has three large textile factories that have recently been refurbished by the government, namely Satec (Cuanza Norte), Textang II (in Luanda) and África Têxtil (in Benguela), which are dedicated to spinning, weaving and apparel.

Cotton production in Angola dates back to 1926. Until 1961, the annual harvest did not exceed 10,000 tons of cotton fibre. But, in 1973 it would reach a figure of about 86,000 tons, having, in that year, the country entered the list of the largest world producers of this crop.