Cebuanas cotton from the Philippines is a staple for the country’s poor, but that is about to change, as a shipment of reclaimed cotton from a former British colony is destined for Mexico.
A local businessman in Cebua, located on the countrys Pacific coast, has sold his cotton to a Filipino textile recycler, and a shipment will arrive from Japan in two weeks, the AFP reported.
The product was bought in November 2016, and the recycling company said it is now awaiting certification from the Philippine government.
Cebuanans, who make up a majority of the country s population, were already growing cotton as a staple crop as the Philippines began allowing the import of foreign-grown cotton in the 1990s.
But this year, the Philippine Agriculture Ministry stopped processing imported cotton for two years, and Cebauans were left to fend for themselves.
In the meantime, some Ceburanas households have begun to collect and sell cotton.
“They have been picking cotton in our fields, selling it in the market,” a Cebuca farmer told the AFP.
According to the Manila-based Center for Rural Economic Development (CREED), about two million hectares of cotton are grown in the country, but it is only about 1.8 percent of the total crop.
Cebuans are among the poorest countries in the world, with an average annual income of only $1,700.
With the country on the verge of becoming a major trading partner, there is an urgent need to address the growing problem of the growing population.