Chitala Research Station has announced of a new cotton breed that is resistant to Boll worms. The variety known is Bollgard II is a genetically modified cotton touted to have the capacity to deal with bollworms and is high yielding.
In Salima, Traditional Authority (T/A) Khombeza said that there was high production costs caused by the pest, but the new variety will ease the problem, as well as bring back farmers that had given up on the crop. “We are happy that this variety is not only cost-effective, but also environment-friendly”
The arrival of the variety follows a K45 increment on the cotton market prices. Meanwhile, as the cotton market is operational for the next 90 days, the cotton sales are expected to spike due to the price increment. Last year, sales plunged because of pests which attacked the crop due to a dry spell, as well as farmers who had given up on the crop due to lower prices.
In May of 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, introduced a new cotton strategy that was aimed at improving the production of cotton by 2023. At the presentation, it was admitted that the cotton industry has faced many challenges that lead to poor sales and production in the last 4 years, but Government promised that to make it a mission to restore the cash crop back on the market.