Cotton growers want fair prices
Cotton farmers in Neno have asked government and cotton buying companies to ensure that prices to be offered for their crop when the buying season starts should reflect production costs and a fair compensation for their work.
It has since been learnt that ginners are preparing to start buying cotton at K375 per kilogramme once markets open in two to three months time.
The growers said it is important that they be the main beneficiaries of cotton growing unlike the previous seasons when it was traders and ginning companies that got more from the crop.
The growers said this last week at Malimba in the area of Traditional Authority Symon in Neno during a cotton field day organised by Blantyre Agriculture Development Division (Bladd) with funding from the African Institute of Corporate Citizen (AICC).
Some of the growers interviewed around the area said it is so disappointing that during selling time, ginners dictate prices that aren’t favourable to growers.
Speaking after inspecting one of the lead farmer’s garden in Kasamba Village, Principal Cotton Officer Monica Kulesi said the government is committed to promoting cotton farmers and asked gowers to improve their quality if they are to get good prices.
“We must grow good quality cotton that can fetch more money on the market,” advised Kulesi.
Admarc Bus ines s Development Officer Joseph Odala said the price of cotton depends on the quality and how it is graded.
“Traders will need quality cotton and not quantity as they may expect,” said Odala.
He said Admarc is committed to offering good prices as a way of encouraging them to grow more cotton so that Malawi can produce enough quantities for both the local and export markets.