Development of Cashmere Fibre Industry Project
Partner name: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Project name: Development of Cashmere Fibre Industry
Funding round: CFP 2
Funding: Jobs Fund grant R4 220 000
Matched Funding R1 140 000
Window: Enterprise development
Location: Eastern Cape
Partners: Department of Trade and Industry, Eastern Cape Craft Hub, Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Eastern Cape Development Corporation and Innovate Eastern Cape
Problem statement:
The Eastern Cape is one of the poorest provinces in the country with high levels of unemployment and poverty, particularly among people living in rural areas. Despite these socio-economic challenges, the province boasts the highest population of indigenous goats in South Africa (estimated at 3 million), which are mostly owned by subsistence farmers. In the winter months, these goats develop a fine undercoat, or down. Even though this fine down undercoat is in many ways comparable to cashmere, it has never been exploited as a raw material in South Africa.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth. The council has partnered with various private and government organisations to ensure the project is sustainable.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will empower farmers and households living in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape with indigenous goats to generate income from combing, collecting and selling the cashmere fibre. Project activities will include establishing primary production cooperatives, comprising households and farmers who own indigenous goats with cashmere potential. These individuals will be trained on how to harvest the cashmere fibre and a production facility will be established to process it. Support will also be provided to help these cashmere farmers establish a market for the fibre.
Expected results:
New permanent jobs 6
Permanent jobs with project partners 10
Training completed 722