January 31, 2019
Yangon, Myanmar: Pragma Ventures Myanmar, Pure Sense Organics Ltd and the DaNa Facility, a UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme, today announced a joint investment of around $1.4 million during the next two years into silk and organic cotton production and textiles in Myanmar.
Through this investment, the DaNa Facility will work with Pragma Ventures to create a commercially successful silk textile business built on exports of high quality, branded silk products into the home furnishings and interiors market in Europe, North America and Australia. The project will provide a sustainable livelihood to an increasing number of farmers in Chin and weavers in Chin and Yangon, and offer ‘work with dignity’ to disadvantaged women.
The project will develop the silk industry in the country, through farm-gate activities to promote sericulture in Chin state and through the design, branding and sales of Myanmar silk products overseas. This will include the launch of a weaving studio in Yangon to demonstrate the work of local silk artisans and weavers.
Addressing organic cotton production, the DaNa Facility will work with the Pure Sense Organics in increasing non-Genetically Modified Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton supply in Myanmar to meet global customers’ market demand, while positively impacting farmers and the environment.
Pure Sense Organics believes there is an opportunity in Myanmar to produce organic cotton as the global demand is high, yet less than 1% of cotton globally is certified organic, and because Myanmar is well positioned to produce raw organic cotton.
The Head of DFID, Dr Gail Marzetti, speaking at the launch event in Yangon today said:
“We are also pleased to be investing in the textile industry. This is an old industry, but one with exciting new opportunities. Myanmar has long been associated with beautiful high quality textiles – with a long history of production across the country from Shan to Chin and Naga.”
“By working to improve the quality of textiles produced in Myanmar, while also increasing the skills of farmers involved in the high value supply chains, we want to help small holder farmers and low-income producers across the country to increase their income and the prosperity of their families and communities.”
Also speaking at the launch today, Catherine Smith, Director of Pragma Ventures said: “Myanmar was once a hub for quality silk production, with climate and environmental conditions providing a flourishing environment for sericulture. Pragma Ventures are excited to be working to revitalise this industry in Chin state and so ensure a steady supply of domestic silk both to local artisans, and for our own weaving enterprise.”
Karina Ufert from Pure Sense Organics also commented: “While demand for organic cotton is growing, it presents Myanmar an opportunity to become a global supplier of certified organic cotton, sourced responsibly from smallholder farmers. Pure Sense Organics Ltd, working together with its partners, including the DaNa facility, is brining unparalleled expertise into transforming Myanmar cotton sector, starting from introducing new, resistant hybrid cotton varieties, training farmers in organic agriculture methods, putting them through third party organic certification and ensuring off-take for final product at premium prices. By the end of 2020, we aim to contract at least 500 farmers to grow with us.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact the DaNa Facility communications team at: +95 9782500752 or through email: email@example.com
The DaNa Facility: The DaNa Facility is a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme, established in May 2016 as one of three components of DFID’s wider ‘Business for Shared Prosperity’ (BSP) programme. The DaNa Facility, implemented by DAI Europe and KPMG, supports inclusive economic growth and private sector development in Myanmar through responsible and sustainable business growth, investment and trade. For more information on the DaNa Facility please visit: www.danafacility.com
Pragma Ventures: Pragma Ventures Myanmar are a private consulting business who have worked across Myanmar in sectors such as retail, tourism, start-ups, marketing, vocational training and general advisory. The business owners will partner with Ar Yone Oo Social Development who are based in Yangon and Chin State and have experience in sericulture, microfinance and social development.
Sense Organics: Sense Organics are pioneers in organic textile manufacturing and have been an established brand in Germany for over 18 years, supplying major European department stores and natural health stores with Organic and Fairtrade products. In Myanmar it will be working with the locally registered company Pure Sense Organics (Myanmar) to implement the programme. Their project partners include Armstrong Spinning Mills (India) who will purchase most of the cotton.
You can find a Myanmar language version of this press release here.