The Financial Express

Primary textile millers call for withdrawing mandatory fumigation

| Updated: November 09, 2021 10:17:38

Primary textile millers call for withdrawing mandatory fumigation

Primary textile millers have reiterated their demand for the withdrawal of mandatory fumigation that discourages local spinners to source cotton from the United States despite its high quality.

About 11.14 per cent out of the total 7.4-million bales of cotton that Bangladesh imported in fiscal year 2019-20 were from the USA, according to a statement.

The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association hopes this share will rise to 14 per cent in the current fiscal.

The observations came at a meeting with American embassy agricultural attaché Megal M Francic, USDA officials, Cotton Council International country representative Ali Arsalan and BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon at the BTMA office in Dhaka on Thursday.

Mr Khokon highlighted the contribution and competence of the country's primary textile sector-backward linkage industry-and the role of BTMA member mills in the growth of the export-oriented garment sector and in meeting the basic local textile demand.

Praising the quality of American cotton, he said it is of one of the finest qualities in the world.

"But unfortunately, because of the geographical distance between the countries, the lead time is higher which in turn discourages the local cotton importers."

The whole consignment needs to be fumigated if cotton is imported from different countries. The consignment includes American cotton, he says.

"The fumigation process and clearance need five days or more to complete. It causes congestion at Chattogram port and also adds 3.0-4.0 cents in cost per bale which affects the country's business competitiveness."

"As such cotton importers of Bangladesh feel discouraged to import US cotton," Mr Khokon observed.

Despite repeated requests to the local authorities concerned, the issue of the removal of fumigation has remained unresolved to dale, he said in the statement.

The BTMA leader sought cooperation from the agricultural attaché in withdrawing the fumigation provision to increase the import of American cotton.

Terming the USA the second-largest export destination for local RMG products like denim and towel, he proposed for a concession in denim export to the USA.

Mr Khokon observed that this would be beneficial for both countries.

He also requested the delegation to include the BTMA in the process while taking an executive delegation to the USA in the coming years.

This would help Bangladesh's spinning industry know various aspects of American cotton and its procurement process, the BTMA chief stated.

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