Cotton Technical Assistance Programme launched at the 2nd India-Africa Trade Ministers Meet
The Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma launched the Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (Cotton TAP) for Africa during the 2nd India-Africa Trade Ministers’ Meet on 17th March 2012 in New Delhi. The Meet was Co chaired by Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission and attended by Trade and Commerce Ministers, Ambassadors / High Commissioners of African countries.
The Programme was announced under the auspices of 2nd India Africa Forum Summit held in Addis Ababa in May 2011. The India –Africa Forum Summit is a vital instrument of Government of India’s political and economic engagement with Africa. The Programme is to be undertaken in Cotton-4 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali) Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda and is to be implemented during 2012-14. The Programme is aimed at enhancing capacities in cotton sector in the identified countries through various interventions related to capacity building and technology transfer.
The Programme will be implemented by premier institutions under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Directorate for Cotton Development and IL&FS Cluster Development Initiative Limited which has also been engaged for implementation, overall coordination and monitoring of the Programme. Shri Anand and Dr. Maxwell also launched the website (www.cottontapafrica.org
) on this occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rajeev Kher, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry stressed that India is suitably placed to provide cotton development assistance to Africa as it is 2nd largest producer of cotton in the world and has a strong cotton textile and apparel supply chain with well developed competencies in technology, R&D and extension.
Reiterating Government of India’s commitment in partnering with Africa to further their endeavour to ensure inclusive growth the Cotton TAP will improve the scientific skill sets of over 3000 farmers, senior scientists and technical professionals engaged in the cotton sector and will also help create critical knowledge infrastructure that would help the countries move up the value chain thereby ensuring a sustainable development model.