While the Ministry of Agriculture has set the minimum price of cotton at K320 per kilogram (kg), the Cotton Farmers Association (Cofa) has rejected the offer, stating that they will not settle for a price less than K400 per kg.
Cofa President Dickson Gundani said that the current gate price is low, considering labour costs and gross margin. “I have booked an appointment with the Minister of Agriculture to tell him that we do not accept the price,” he said.
Since 2012, farmers have been reporting concerns over low price offers, a situation that has led to the low production of cotton every year since. According to the Agriculture Ministry’s Spokesperson Gracian Lungu, cotton production will decline by 70% this year. On the other hand, maize farmers have also expressed dissatisfaction over the gate prices announced last week.