The Cotton Industry Implementation Plan, CIIP: 2010-2015
The cotton sector is one of the key cash crops in the economy. It is a crop on which about 40 percent of the national population; that is, upwards of 15 million people; depend for their daily livelihoods; be they farmers, cotton ginners and merchants, inputs suppliers, researchers, other cotton processors and service providers, clothes wholesalers and retailers; and their dependents.
In recent years, the cotton sub- sector has played a leading, proactive role in coming up with innovations to address its challenges. It was the first among the major agricultural sub- sectors to come up with a specific medium- term Sector Strategy in 1999/00 which dwelt at great length
on the problems besetting the sector; and clearly articulated the strategies of how to address them. The cotton sub- sector was fore- runner in establishing a Cotton Development Trust Fund, CDTF; a stakeholder jointly- financed scheme to fund shared functions.
CDTF has become a reference scheme not only for the other agricultural sub- sectors, but also for our neighbouring cotton regulatory institutions: Uganda’s Cotton Development Organisation and Cotton Development Authority of Kenya. Again, it was the first sub- sector to establish a forum on which stakeholders regularly come together to discuss issues of common interest.
These include the Annual Meetings; and the famous Pamba D ay on which stakeholders reverently assemble each year to recognize the best achievers in the cotton industry with various awards.
These efforts were followed by the formulation of the Tanzania Cotton Board’s first Corporate Strategic Plan, 2007/08- 2009/10; and the recently prepared Second Cotton Sector Development Strategy, CSDS II, 2010/11- 2014/15. It is no wonder that cotton production rose
dramatically from 196,000 bales in 1999/00 to nearly 700, 000 bales in 2005/06. And, had it not
been for the conspiracy of the elements, especially the increasingly rampant droughts, cotton
production output volumes would, by now, have easily exceeded one million bales.