Integrating the EAC Cotton, Textile and Apparel sector in Global Value Chains: Stakeholders perspectives.

    The German Settlers did the introduction of the Cotton and textile production in Tanzania around 1904 but the industry was developed in the 1970s as the country made efforts to achieve industrialization. The cotton production and manufacturing industry plays an important role in Tanzania’s economy. It offers great potential for increased GDP; exports; farmer incomes and employment via textile manufacturing. Nearly 500,000 Tanzanian smallholder farmers are involved in the production of cotton and an estimated figure of 40% of the population, or 16 million people, depend on cotton for their livelihood.

    Cotton is Tanzania’s largest export crop after coffee. Most of the product is exported; as of 2014, it contributed TZS 558.4 billion to export earnings. The cultivated area is 300,000 - 500,000 ha and its cultivation is practised in the west and east as Western Cotton Growing Area (WCGA) and Eastern Cotton Growing Area (ECGA) respectively. The WCGA encompass regions including Mwanza, Shinyanga, Singida, Mara, Kagera and Tabora producing 95% while ECGA include Morogoro, Manyara, Tanga and Kilimanjaro with a low production of 5% of the total cotton produced. The producers in general practice low input - low output approaches to production; its output

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ESRFs activities are supported by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF),Think Tank Initiative of IDRC and The Foundation for Civil Society.