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Southeastern Anatolia Region Takes Cotton Fibre Manufacturing to the Next Level!

Turkey is one of the most important actors in the cotton industry in the world. 8 countries including Turkey manufacture approximately 80% of cotton globally. According to 2016 data from the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), Turkey ranks the ninth in cotton cultivation, the seventh in cotton manufacturing industry, and the second in the yield of cotton fibre in the world.

More than 50 percent of cotton production in Turkey takes place in the Southeastern Anatolian Region. Ginning process where cotton fibres are separated from the cotton seed is mostly conducted in ┼×anl─▒urfa and Diyarbakir. All challenges related to cotton manufacturing and processing, which are paramount for Turkey in terms of both employment and added value, directly affect the textile industry.

Cotton Manufacturing and Southeastern Anatolia Region

Identification of standard quality values for cotton fibre that needs to be achieved through transparent and scientific analyses is deemed a significant development with regards to contributions to the competitiveness of the textile sector. These standards were specified in the Communiqu├ę on the transition to the single bale system published by the Ministry of Economy in 2009 aimed at eliminating such challenges.

Most cotton ginners in the Southeastern Anatolia Region have limited understanding of ┬áthe technical qualifications needed┬á to comply with the requirements of this Communiqu├ę. The cotton ginners in the region, numbering almost 250 cannot yet manufacture the basic product accordingly using modern machinery and techniques. They also store the cotton fibres under unsuitable conditions, resulting in deterioration of ┬áthe quality of cotton fibres before ┬áthe sale of the product. As result, cotton fibres whose quality is not guaranteed remain unsold and many manufacturers prefer to purchase imported cotton fibre with a warranty of quality.

Competitive Sectors Programme Steps in Again to Eliminate Problems!

The Competitive Sectors Programme carried out by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology is aimed at maintaining competitiveness in the textile industry and eradicating the problems in cotton production in the Southeastern Anatolia Region. In light of this, the ÔÇťRegional Industrial Collaboration in Cotton Fibre ManufacturingÔÇŁ Project was developed by GAP International Agricultural Research and Training Centre. Through the project co-financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey with a budget of approximately 6.7 million Euros. Cooperation among the enterprises is envisaged to be developed by setting up a system to improve the quality standards of cotton ginners in ┼×anl─▒urfa and Diyarbak─▒r. The clustering approach is adopted to ensure the workability of the project.

What is the System Developed Within  the Project?

The majority of the cotton ginners in the region cannot yet meet the requirements of the Ministry of Economy. Therefore, a mobile sampling/labelling system, cotton fibre laboratory and a secure web portal, where buyers can directly contact sellers, is being established within the project.

Provided that the cotton ginning and pressing enterprises improve their storage facilities  with their own means, they will be able to utilise this system to be established under the Project and benefit from the GAP International Agricultural Research and Training Centre Accredited Fibre Quality Analysis Centre. Sampling kits will be provided to participating cotton ginning-pressing enterprises to take samples from each bail manufactured, and uniquely barcoded. Thus, the transition to the single bail system will have been ensured thanks to the project.

After the sample extraction from each bale,  they are analysed in the laboratory and their quality features are identified and marked, followed by posting of  product information on the web portal. Textile and  weaving enterprises will be able to match their needs and order via this portal from the suppliers that have the cotton fibre of the desired quality. This way, quality and price conflicts among the parties will be eliminated. During the project, as pilot operatives, a minimum of 50 enterprises are expected to register on the web portal and use this system.

The project aims to improve the marketing and networking skills of the cotton ginners. The system to be established with the project is expected to provide services to approximately 300 cotton ginners, and contribute to regional development in the long term, including Batman and Mardin provinces.

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