West and Central Africa have their first organic cotton ginning plant, a move designed to boost the regions’ textile industries.

Inaugurated by the President of Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, last week, the plant in Burkina Faso called the Koudougou Organic Cotton Ginning Company (SECOBIO) will have a ginning capacity of 17,500 tonnes of organic cotton per season. It will employ 40 permanent workers, 100 daily workers and more than 200 seasonal staff.

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With a direct investment of around XOF4bn (US$6.72m), the industrial unit is located on the grounds of the Burkinabe Company of Textile Fibres (Sofitex), on a surface of 5,000 m2. The facility will be operated by the Organic Cotton Ginning Company (SECOBIO).

Minister of commerce, industry and handicrafts, Harouna Kabore, said the facility – part of the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES) – will be spearheading the fight against unemployment among women and young people.

He added: “The cotton fibre produced by the SECOBIO unit under rigorous conditions and in accordance with international certification standards will allow organic cotton from Burkina Faso to be more competitive on the international market for sustainable cotton.”

Other projects underway in Burkina Faso include the reopening of the former Faso Fani textile factory in Koudougou in March, the establishment of an industrial cotton processing complex in three localities, namely Ouagadougou, Koudougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, and the establishment of a textile industrial park in Bobo-Dioulasso.