Cotton is Tanzania’s second largest export crop after coffee and Africa’s fourth-largest producer of cotton after Mali, Burkina Faso and Egypt. About 14 million people or 40% of the total population derives their livelihood directly or indirectly from cotton that is grown by an estimated 500,000 small holder farmers with approximate cultivated area of 400,000 hand crop of 360,000 tons and having a very high potential for growth through sustainable farm management, contract farming, credit facility, adequate & timely provision of farm inputs, etc. Presently, 70% – 80% of Tanzania’s annual cotton production is exported.
MeTL Group’s cotton farm provides direct and indirect employment to many families whereby ensuring sustainable livelihood, while MeTL Group’s farmers business groups across a range of districts including Musoma, Bunda, Serengeti, Butiama, Busega and Bariadi provide direct assistance to more than 6,000 cotton farmers. By utilizing the available resources, the group also plans to diversify through installation of a mineral water plant on the Musoma Textiles premises whereby strategically positioning itself near to the market.
MeTL Group has turned 5M acres of unused fertile land around its Musoma Textiles mill into a farm demonstrating a more environmentally friendly means of cultivating cotton. A particular innovation at the farm involves recycling its own effluent water instead of using water from Lake Victoria. This initiative was rewarded in 2013 by the Cleaner Production Centre for Tanzania, under the Ministry of Water & Irrigation—when Musoma Textiles Mill beat 62 other companies to win the Solid Waste Management Category for the Lake Zone in northern Tanzania.
Cotton being the most preferred fibre in tropical and sub-Saharan climate, the demand for this produce is only expected to grow along with the growth levels of effluence and population.
MeTL Group which is positioned as the largest textile producer in Sub-Saharan Africa with four textile mills (three in Tanzania and one in Mozambique) and an annual production of 100 million running meters of fabric. To achieve and maintain such a position regular development and establishment of sustainable backward integration programs with farmers and other stakeholders has been incorporated.
MeTL Group has planned accusation of 30,000 hectors and will start its own plantation with average of 1300 kg yield. Furthermore by creating contracts with local farmers the Group aims to produce 45,000 tons of seed cotton, which will be linked up directly to its already established mills.