By Prossy Nandudu
Cotton exports from Uganda are set to increase once the recommendations by trade ministers in the Bali 9th ministerial conference are implemented.
One of the recommendations was to help revive the cotton sector through funding to increase production to benefit from the market from List Developed Countries (LDC) who are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
This was revealed by the minister of trade, industry and cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde in a brainstorming meeting about the conference at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel on Tuesday.
Kyambadde said that there have been restrictions in the cotton sector when it comes to exporting as result of decline in quality and production.
“In this meeting ministers agreed that since sector in Uganda would be supported if possible with a fund to improve the production capacity and quality controls to gain a guaranteed market among LDC members and beyond,’ said Kyambadde.
She said that Uganda was the lead exporter of quality cotton some years back, but this has since dropped.
“Since we are the chairing WTO this year, we shall make sure that the agreement is implemented so that we can earn as a country more from cotton exports just like other crops,” added Kyambadde.
The ministers also agreed to remove all barriers that had been stopping some commodities from member countries like cotton and other agricultural products to access their markets.
Uganda’s cotton export earnings in 2013 dropped by 58.6percent due to a fall in the quantity of exported cotton. Cotton earnings declined from 76 million dollars in 2012 to 31.42 million dollars in 2013.
In Uganda most cotton producing areas are located in hard to reach areas which contributes to poor and less production
The Uganda Cotton Ginners and Exporters Association (UCGEA) say the main problem, affecting cotton exports is that it’s mainly exported in the raw form.