Egypt signed a protocol to enhance Egyptian cotton to local and global markets (cotton from seed to cladding) in cooperation with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Italian Development Cooperation at a total cost of €1.5m.
Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil said that the textile industry is of utmost importance to the national economy, which contributes 3% to the GDP, employs about one third of the industrial labour manpower, and exports $2.6bn, 15% of Egyptian non-petroleum exports.
Kabil added that the project’s duration is two years and includes the qualification of 400 cotton farmers on the sustainable agricultural practices of organic cotton. It also includes strengthening the productive capacities of 15 companies from the private sector working in the textile industry, improving skills of 10 traders and retailers and development skills of 300 workers in the field of agriculture as well as that of technicians and professionals working in textile companies. Furthermore, the implementation of training programmes for 300 students in industrial and agricultural schools and capacity building for six technical support institutions and specialised centres.
The project also aims to improve the economic performance of projects operating in the field of manufacturing long-staple cotton, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), developing supply chains, managing production, and developing industrial technologies and marketing systems. In addition, the project aims to meet local and global market requirements by raising the skills of textile workers and developing the innovation system.
For her part, Director and UNIDO Representative at Egypt Giovanna Ceglie said that the new project will benefit from UNIDO’s experience in the value chain system, and it will promote organic cotton and support cotton manufacturing through optimal and efficient use of resources.
Furthermore, the project aims to support innovation in the textile sector and to enhance the pioneering and technical skills of Egyptian youth working in the fields of cotton cultivation.