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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs