Ginners under their umbrella “The Uganda Ginners and Cotton Exporters Association” (UGCEA) have requested government to put a ban on importation of clothes into the Country.
The request was made yesterday 9th/01/2019 to the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja in a meeting organized by Cotton Development Organization (CDO) at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala.
Bob Ogen Albert a West-Nile representative at the ginners’ umbrella body said importation of clothes into Uganda undermines government`s effort to promote local industries.
“Some Countries regulate imports. They have specific products which are left for the local industries and I think the same should be done here in Uganda, if government want to achieve more out of its textile industry, importation of clothes into Uganda has to be given a complete ban”. Ongen said.
“We also want government to include the revival of the regional spinning mills on the line-up of its interventions to boost the textile industry in the Country as well as tax reduction on some of the raw materials we use”. He added.
Ginners also expressed their concern on the recent cabinet decision to scrap off the Cotton Development Organization (CDO) saying the move will cripple Uganda`s textile industry.
“The body (CDO) is the one responsible to oversee the entire cotton value chain right from the garden to a finished product.
If it is scrapped off, some of us are likely to close business in Uganda because CDO provides technical guidance to farmers to get the quality we want”. Bruce Robertson, Chairman of UGCEA said.
The Minister said their concerns will be discussed in cabinet and assured them of government`s support through good policies and infrastructures like roads, electricity and hospitals for them to continue operating in Uganda.
The Uganda Ginners and Cotton Exporters Association Limited is an umbrella body that brings together all the cotton ginners and exporters in Uganda.
The Association supports cotton production through provision of production inputs to cotton farmers at a subsidized rate, namely seeds, pesticide, fertilizers and pumps.
In 2015, the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State interested the Council of ministers in promoting the textile and leather industries in the region and stopping the importation of used clothes into the region. This resulted from the need for EAC to partly boost industrialization in member states.
In Uganda, the decision was informed by Vision 2040 which seeks to promote agro-processing and manufacturing of consumer products, and the ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda’ policy which seeks to support the production, supply and consumption of local goods and services.