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article imageYear of Natural Fibres Officially Launched

By Bob Ewing     Jan 25, 2009 in World
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009 to raise awareness of the value of wool, cotton and flax, for example.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced the launch of the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009. The Year is designed to raise awareness of the importance of familiar natural resources such as cotton, flax, wool, alpaca and even cashmere, which are often taken for granted in the face of rising competition from synthetic materials.
Havez Ghanem, FAO Assistant Director-General for Social and Economic Development, noted the production of animal and vegetable fibres generates $40 billion annually for farmers and account for up to half of a developing country’s exports.
“Farmers and processors in these countries depend on proceeds from the sales and exports of these natural fibres for their income and food security,” he said at the ceremony in Rome launching the Year.
Some 30 million tons of natural fibres are farmed around the world every year, with cotton being the biggest crop.
The Year, dubbed “Wild and Woolly 2009” and which comes on the heels of similar year-long celebrations of the potato in 2008, rice in 2004 and mountains in 2002, will be celebrated through conferences, exhibits and fashion shows worldwide.
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