News / Africa

    High Tech Cotton Gin Offers Secure Future for Farmers

    Olam International Cotton Gin (Olam International)Olam International Cotton Gin (Olam International)
    x
    Olam International Cotton Gin (Olam International)
    Olam International Cotton Gin (Olam International)

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Kim Lewis
    Olam International, a leading global integrated supply chain manager, that has been active in Mozambique for 15 years, announced this year, the construction of its first state-of-the-art roller cotton gin.

    The company, which is engaged in processing and packaging agricultural products and food ingredients, has been helping farmers to produce a variety of sustainable crops that offer a guaranteed income.

    One of its most important efforts is promoting the production of cotton.  Olam said it is continuing to make progress toward its goal of increasing local production of the commodity in rural areas of Mozambique. 

    “In cotton, we partner with farmers, teach them best farming practices, provide them support, and provide them a ready market to buy back the crop that they produce.  Much of the farming of cotton happens in deep rural areas, and therefore, getting cash on the spot, to support the farmer is one essential necessity, simply because the banking system does not extend that efficiently,” explained MD Ramesh, regional head of east and southern Africa at Olam. 

    While the company provides services to farmers, it is ultimately the farmer’s responsibility to produce the cotton.

    “Most of them work on small sectors of land on which they produce the cotton, and we buy it back and take it to our cotton gins.  We already have three gins in Mozambique, and this is actually our fourth.  It’s in a place called Beira -- where we plan to support about 10,500 farmers,” said Ramesh, who added, “the newest gin should be up and running towards the end of this year.” 

    The east and southern regional head of Olam noted that farmers benefit economically through the market that the company offers for cotton production, and by having the cotton gins in areas close to where they farm.

    “We also support them through providing logistics and supply chains after the harvest is completed.  [That] means all they have to do is just use our support, use the seed that we provide them, use the agronomical practices that we teach them, so that they pull in the best practices and produce the cotton,” said Ramesh.

    Because Olam bears the brunt of the expenses, there is very little financial burden on the farmer, and he or she is able to focus more on the actual growing of the crop. The new cotton gin now under construction will offer thousands more farmers the opportunity to have a steady flow of income.

    “Specifically to the Beira gin, the 10,500 farmers would have approximately 1 ½ to 2-million dollars in advance against buy- back of the crop. They have the support, they have a buy-back, and they have a fixed price that is pre-decided before the season begins. The farmer has to put in his hard work and produce the cotton,” explained Ramesh.

    He also pointed out that Olam’s goal is to have cotton increase farmers’ incomes – by making it easier to grow along with other crops.  The cotton gin is an important part of making that goal a reality:  Olam officials say farmers in Mozambique will be able to reap the rewards of the goods and services of the new state-of-the-art gin for the next 25-30 years.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.