Ethiopia’s decision to Produce GM Cotton Challenges Competitors like Kenya

Ethiopia’s decision to produce genetically modified cotton has enhanced its rivalry with countries like Kenya.

The Government of Ethiopia hopes that the commencement of the production of GM cotton will help the country save the expenses incurred from importing raw materials.

Kenya and Madagascar close competitors of Ethiopia are heavily relying on textile production for enhancing their economic growth.

In June 2018, Ethiopia had approved the cultivation of two BT cotton hybrid varieties namely JKCH 1047 and JKCH 1050.

To combat the crisis of increasing labor wages and taxes in China, several fashion brands across the world have been eyeing Ethiopia for a long time mainly because of the tax benefits and subsidies offered by the nation.

The Government of Ethiopia believes that the production of GM cotton will now further help the country in resolving its scarcity of raw materials.

It is projected that 2.6 million hectares of land in Ethiopia is considered fit for the cultivation of cotton though only 130,000 hectares is put under the crop.

According to Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kenya needs to focus a lot on textile production to be competitive with Ethiopia and should also focus on adopting BT Cotton. Presently, the country imports bulk of fabrics from countries like India, Pakistan, and China among others.