In collaboration with the Cotton Council of Malawi and the cotton ginners, a one-month campaign on cotton production in this 2019/2020 growing season has been implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, as means to revive cotton farming.
The Cotton Production Campaign for the 2019/20 season launched as Agriculture Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa announced that the Government allocated K1 billion to revive the cotton sector.
Nankhumwa outlined that the Development of the cotton subsector is at the heart of government as it directly impacts over 300,000 farmers who rely on cotton for their income and livelihoods. He also acknowledged that tobacco may not be a valuable crop in the future, following the anti-smoking campaigns by the World Health Organization which have seen a lowered demand in the green gold. He therefore stated that cotton is being considered as an alternate cash crop and a means of diversification. “Cotton has immediate potential to impact Malawi’s economic growth for several reasons including the creation of more jobs if the integrated cotton value chain is revived and becomes more vibrant.” he said.
According to the Minister, the campaign is aimed at increasing cotton productivity through the use of high yielding cotton varieties and recommended pesticides as well as foliar fertilizer. On the other hand, the campaign has a goal to increase the number of smallholder farmers, as figures show that by the 2018/19 season, there were 80 000 smallholder farmers that cultivated cotton as compared to the 300 000 growers in 2012/13 season.