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Counterfeits drowning our textiles

The Marketing Director of Tex Styles Ghana Limited, Reverend Stephen Badu has revealed that pirates are collapsing the Ghanaian textile companies due to their production of counterfeit.

He stated, “The biggest challenge is the counterfeit and smuggling of fabrics.” As a result of counterfeiting, work force in the industry has reduced of about 80 percent. The problems in the industry started in the early 2000s when the original designs made by Ghanaian textile companies were stolen and reproduced cheaply in China for the Ghanaian market.

“The Ghana textile industry that once used to employ over 25,000 workers has now been reduced to less than 3,000 workers following the decline of production twelve years ago due to the importation of cheap pirated foreign textile,” he added.

Currently, the industry is said to be on the verge of collapse as a result of workers whose number is just about a little above 2,000, producing textile for the consumption of over 27million people in the country and beyond.

According to Rev Badu, among the fifteen companies which started in the 1990s, only four of them are currently left, operating in the industry.

These companies include Akosombo Textile Limited, Printex, VLISCO and GTP, of which the sum total of their worker force is less than 3,000.

Knowledgeable people in the industry believe that the Ghana Standard Authority which is mandated to ensure that products sent to the market are of quality value is sleeping on the job, has become laid back in doing their duty, which is why pirates have occupied the textile market with these imported cheap textiles.

Another major problem happens to be the way these foreign pirated fabrics are smuggled in the country. It is noticed that some traders use the Ports to smuggle their products in the full glare of Custom officers.

Also, most of the pirated fabrics come through nearby neighboring country due to low price of port duty. Imported textiles too are said to be subject to a 20 percent tariff, this also is encouraging importation of these cheap textiles in to the market.

Market women on the other hand hold argument that, if Ghana Textile Printing turns out less-expensive products, they would not sell fake fabrics since consumers wants cheap stuff.

Technology Company in the country called Mpedigree, with the support of Premium African Textiles has develop a system called the Goldkeys technology which GTP has adopted in order to help traders and consumers detect the genuine fabrics from the fake ones.

A 12-digit code which is scratchable is labeled on the fabric. The code is then sent as a text message to a toll- free number of 1393 with an instant respond to show whether or not fabric is counterfeit.

 

By: Diana Nartey

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