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Absorbent Cotton Making Plants


1. Product Description: Absorbent cotton is used for sanitary use and in surgical operation.  As the name implies the product absorbs excess liquid or fluid which the body generates or produces due to injury or natural process.  Besides it use in surgical operation, absorbent cotton is used by women during their monthly menstrual cycle.  But in our country, it is mostly women who live in urban areas who use absorbent cotton.


2. Rationale: Of the 19 million people who live in the Amhara Region, about 9.6 million are women and of these, 7.6 million are between the age of 15 and 49 years- the period of reproduction.  Again among this group 6.8 million live in rural areas.  Probably due to ignorance these women do not use absorbent cotton during their “monthly period”.  Even women who live in so called small “towns” which actually are large villages with some semblance of urban life do not use absorbent cotton.  The fact that these women do not use this product puts them in very inconvenient and some time embarrassing situation during their periods.  Anyone who grew in a rural area knows the problem women face during their periods because they do not use absorbent cotton.  If rural women are properly informed about the benefit and convenience of using obserbent cotton, and if smart businessman produces absorbent cotton which is not fancy but practical and whose price is affordable by rural women, there will be a huge market for absorbent cotton in the Region.  And this is one of those projects which should be activity promoted by the Region’s Health Bureau.


3. Market Potentials: Women of reproductive age group are the potential market for this product.  If one woman uses 3 pieces of absorbent cotton per month, 7.6 million women will use 22.8 million pieces per month and 273.6 million pieces per year.  For those who are aware about its benefit, the use of absorbent cotton is not an option but a must.  The problem in rural areas is that rural women do not know the existence of such a product.  Investors not only take advantage of existing markets, but they exploit latent markets.


4. Source of Raw material: The main raw material is ginned cotton which can be obtained from ginneries  operating in the Region.  Or alternatively raw cotton can be bought from farmers and it can be ginned using labor through outsourcing. In other words, raw cotton can be given to women living around the factory site, and these women could process the cotton and bring it to the factory for further processing and packing.  Besides, cotton there are mans made materials which can substitute cotton.


5. Production Process & Technology: The are two methods of marking absorbent cotton:- one is automatic and the other is manual. The manual process involves the following stages of production. (a)Cleaning of the raw cotton (b) treating of the cotton with caustic soda and soda ash (c) pressing the cleaned cotton and bleaching (d) washing the bleached cotton (e) drying of the bleached and washed cotton (f) cutting the cotton to standard size and (g) packing of the absorbent cotton.


Machinery needed for the plant include carding machine, croytein, boiler, drying chamber, hydro extractor, rolling machine, circular, lifting machine and other testing machine  


6. Estimated Investment: Buildings 300m2 at Birr 1500/m2 = Birr 450,000 plus Birr 500,000 for machinery = Birr 950,000


7. Benefit to the Region Economy: Creates employment, stimulates production of raw cotton, makes the Region self-sufficient in this product and improves the health standard of millions of women.


8. Possible Location: Bahir Dar, Combolcha and Gondar.