The Cotton Farmers Association President, Dickson Gundani, outlined that cotton farmers have targeted to produce 50 000 metric tonnes (MT) of the crop in the 2019/20 growing season, a jump from last year’s 7 000MT.
The set target will be a massive shift in the industry, considering that last year, there were 80 000 smallholder farmers that cultivated cotton as compared to the 300 000 growers in 2012/13 season, as shown by the 2019 African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) Cotton Market Analysis Report, which attributed the lowered numbers to reduced harvests and area dedicated to cotton. The new target would therefore produce a could sell a whopping K2 billion if the output is sold at not less than K400 per kilogram (kg).
Gundani backed the target, stating that the sector has seen improved hybrid seed. The newly-launched, Malawi Cotton Development Strategy (MCDS) has been hailed by stakeholders, as an effort to help farmers reap the most and improve the sector’s input to the economy.
Prior to the new strategy, farmers outlined that unless government protect them, they will not grow cotton. Another grievance that the farmers presented, was of abundant fake cotton seeds on the market, which they want eliminated once and for all.