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Faculty set up to boost textile industry

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by mashingo, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. mashingo

    mashingo Member

    Jan 11, 2011
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    :coffee:Monday, 10 January 2011 22:43

    By Ray Naluyaga,
    Citizen Bureau Chief

    Mwanza. In order to develop textile industry in Tanzania, the government has set up the faculty of textile engineering at the University of Dar Es Salaam (UDSM), which will begin enrolling students in September this year.

    Speaking to The Citizen on the cotton and textile development programme in Mwanza yesterday, Mr Ibrahim Seushi of the Tanzania Gatsby Foundation, the main financiers of the programme, said the faculty has been established to ensure that value is added to the cotton produced in the country.

    He said the foundation has fully sponsored eight members of the UDSM College of Engineering and Technology (Coet) to attend training on Masters and Doctorate degree levels at Manchester University in United Kingdom, in order for them to spearhead the establishment of the faculty.

    Speaking to The Citizen over the phone about the status of the faculty, the coordinator at Coet, Dr Leornard Mwaikambo, said the senate endorsed two undergraduate programmes in June last year.
    He named the programmes as Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Textile Design and Technologies.

    He said the programmes would begin with 30 students, 15 for each course.
    He said the faculty would be manned by 11 staff, including three who were recruited in July last year.
    “Delays in the submission of the curriculum to the Tanzania Commission of Science have prevented the faculty from commencing this academic year,” hinted Dr Mwaikambo.

    Only 30 per cent of cotton produced in Tanzania is processed into clothes and other textile materials, while the remaining 70 per cent is exported as row materials, denying the country a substantial income, according to Mr Seushi.
    According to Mr Marco Mtunga, the Tanzania Cotton Board acting director general, during the 2008/09 season, the country produced 123,000 tonnes, the biggest on record and brought in $82.8 million in revenue.

    However, in the 2009/10 season, cotton production declined to about 90,000 metric tonnes after its market price tumbled due to the global financial crisis, Mr Mtunga said.

    “News about cotton prices being much lower due to the economic and financial crisis discouraged some farmers from growing cotton,” Mr Mtunga said.

    Sparse rainfall in the growing season, little use of pesticides, weak extension services, undefined system of input provision to farmers as well as poor quality of seeds have cut the size of the current crop, he added.

    In order to overcome these and many other challenges currently facing the industry, Tanzania has now embarked on cotton contract farming that will see a complete overhaul of how the industry has been run.
    As many as 500,000 farmers cultivate about 485,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of cotton in the country’s northern, coastal and western regions, he said.

    According to the 2007 statistics by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Tanzania is Africa’s fifth-largest lint-cotton producer, after Egypt, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Benin; and the world’s 20th largest producer of cotton.*