RMG Ghana Ltd, a leading agricultural input distribution company, has injected US$10 million into revamping of cotton seed production .
The five-year project to be implemented by Wienco Cotton Ltd with a target of increasing the units of cultivation from the current 4,000 to 50,000 units is aimed at boosting the cotton sector to feed the fabric industry to enhance economic growth.
The support also included the provision of pick-up vehicles, motorbikes and other equipment needed to enhance operations to achieve the set goals.
The Director of Crops at Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Seth Akoto-Osei speaking at the relaunch of the Wienco Cotton in Tamale noted that lack of the raw materials for the fabric industries has hampered the production of quality fabrics in the country hence government importing to meet the needs of citizens.
“It is heartwarming and a welcome news for me to learn that Wienco Cotton is repositioning itself to revamp the cotton industry in Ghana. It has been the government wish to revitalize the Ghana cotton industry and I would like to commend RMG Ghana Ltd. for taking this bold initiative in contributing towards the revamping of the sub-sector,” he said.
According to him, since the beginning of commercial cotton production in 1968, successive governments have always put in place various initiatives to promote increased production and productivity and that the support of RMG would help to boost the sector to make more availability of cotton seeds to feed the farmers in their production.
He also commended Wienco Cotton for persisting and committing itself to promoting cotton amidst seed cotton poaching, input diversion, low farmer commitment, ethnic conflicts, inadequate regulation, non-enforcement of zoning and poor extension support among others.
He reiterated the commitment of the Ministry’s support in the promotion of the cotton sub- sector adding that the ministry has also initiated measures to promote the sub-sector which include the inclusion of cotton as one of the commodities included in the Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme, various talks with the Xinjiang Tianye Group of China to establish Agricultural Industrialization Parks in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ) of Ghana for commercial production of cotton and other crops.
“The Arailius Group from Britain are also to invest in the production and textiles manufacturing while the China Agricultural Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CAMEC) to establish mechanization centres in cotton producing districts to promote commercial and small holder cotton production,” he said.
He admonished RMG and Wienco Cotton to collaborate with the Assemblies to promote cotton production under the PERD programme through the establishment of various cotton producer groups including Youth and Women in cotton groups.
He also urged RMG/Wienco Cotton to consider partnering with MOFA for the provision of training and capacity building of extension staff for the cotton sector under PERD
The Group Chief Executive Officer of RMG Concept Ltd, Mr Daniel Ruegg said the organization was committed helping to revamp agricultural sector in making Ghana one of the leading distributor of food and other raw materials in sub Saharan countries.
He noted that the world cotton trade is projected at about $55 billion of which Ghana is lucky to be among the 15-major cotton exporting countries in Africa.
“It is worth mentioning that, out of the three private companies given the nod by the government in 2009, it is only Wienco Cotton that is still alive in the cotton industry in the North right now albeit with so much difficulties and challenges hence the commitment of RMG Ghana Ltd to re investing to acquire new equipment, vehicles, motor bikes, re staffing and many other resources to ensure expansion in farm sizes, timely availability of production inputs, ensuring higher productivity among others” he said.
The Managing Director of RMG Ghana Ltd, Mr William Kotey said, “the partnership allows Wienco Cotton to leverage RMG Ghana’s position as a leading supplier of agro inputs to the Ghana economy, and in particular to take advantage of Wienco’s experience in the development of private sector initiatives aimed at improving yields and revenues amongst smallholder farmers”.
He said, RMG Ghana identified major setbacks militating against cotton cultivation in Ghana and based on recommendations from their vast research, developed the home based strategies for a revamp of the industry.
“RMG Ghana as a company over the past few years has explored the history behind cotton cultivation in northern Ghana, mode of marketing, the challenges confronting the sub-sector and the prospects it holds for the Ghanaian as an export earner” he said.
The National chairman for Cotton Farmers Association, Mr Abdul Rahman Mohammed expressed gratitude to RMG for the support saying it would help increased cotton production in the country.